Colorado State University Distinguished Professor Patrick J. Brennan has been elected as a Fellow of the prestigious American Academy of Microbiology. Brennan, a professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, was honored due to his important contributions to the fields of microbial physiology, infectious diseases and molecular biology.
Brennan’s primary research involves two bacterial diseases, leprosy and tuberculosis; he is renowned as a world leader in research related to both these diseases. Brennan founded the Mycobacterium Research Laboratories at Colorado State in 1980 as one of the few basic research programs on leprosy and tuberculosis worldwide. The laboratories focus on immunology, synthetic and analytical chemistry, molecular biology and genetics to develop new vaccines, diagnostic reagents and drug targets for the diseases.
Brennan’s research focuses on the biochemical characterization of cell wall constituents and their assembly in Mycobacterium, several species of which cause disease in humans and animals. Understanding the structure of the complex mycobacterial cell wall, including the genes governing its construction and the enzymes synthesizing the wall components, has key implications for developing improved means of diagnosing and treating diseases caused by Mycobacterium, including tuberculosis and leprosy.
The mission of the American Academy of Microbiology is to recognize scientific excellence and foster knowledge and understanding in the microbiological sciences. The Academy is the honorific leadership group within the American Society for Microbiology, or ASM, the world’s oldest life science organization with more than 43,000 members.
Fellows of the American Academy of Microbiology are elected annually through a highly selective, peer-reviewed process, based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology. There are now just over 2,000 Fellows representing 37 countries and all subspecialties of microbiology, including basic and applied research, teaching, public health, industry and government service.