Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine
Center for Microbial Interface Biology
460 W. 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
Phone: (614) 292-0777
Jordi B. Torrelles, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine. Dr. Torrelles joined the faculty in 2008. He is past recipient of the James V. Warren Award as recognition of outstanding and excellence in research performed in the Department of Internal Medicine at The Ohio State University and also the Parker B. Francis Fellowship in pulmonary research.
A major area of Dr. Torrelles’ interest is the study of the human alveolar microenvironment and how this may affect the outcome of lung diseases. Dr. Torrelles’ laboratory is focused on understanding how the structure of the cell envelope of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacillus is affected upon deposition in the alveolar space before entry into the macrophage. It is known that alveolar myeloid and epithelial cells directly contribute to the abundant secretion of a variety of enzymatic activities into the lung surfactant. The primary function of these enzymatic activities is believed to maintain homeostasis (health); however, we do not know how these enzymatic activities will affect the cell envelope of M. tuberculosis and its adaptation within the host. A better understanding of the environment that M. tuberculosis finds itself in upon deposition and the bacterium’s modification of its cell envelope structure and metabolism will ultimately allow us to examine the metabolic pathways that M. tuberculosis relies upon for survival in this critical lung microenvironment.
These studies should provide us with new relevant information about the real constitution of the M. tuberculosis cell envelope surface within the host. The identification and characterization of in vivo ‘de novo’ signature motifs (metabolites) produced under alveolar immune pressure will create a new library of M. tuberculosis components that will be targeted and has implications for TB diagnostics, therapies and vaccines. In addition, the knowledge gained from these studies can be more broadly applied to other significant lung diseases.
Since one person in the world dies every 18 seconds from TB, Dr. Torrelles’ personal goal is to put all of his efforts into working with the scientific community to eradicate this lung disease.