According to Professor Sassetti, Tuberculosis is one of the three major killer diseases around the world and it is particularly hard to treat for because there is no vaccine, it is difficult to diagnose and the treatment is lengthy --- six to nine months.
Recovery Act Impact: UMass Medical School Research
"That [length of time] is really hard in the developing world," said Dr. Sassetti. If the drug regimen is not sustained - which is often the case - it leads to treatment failure and drug resistance. But Dr. Sassetti has a plan: "We want to come up with ways to develop new drugs or develop drugs that work more quickly," he said.
Stimulus funding of $5.2 million is also renovating the UMass Biosafety Level 3 Laboratory, a hazardous materials lab, which will enable Dr. Sassetti to further his research by being able to work there with real strains of tuberculosis.
"It will be a really unique lab," said Dr. Sassetti. "We're really eager for it to be finished."