Internationally Known Colorado State University Tuberculosis Researcher Receives Scholarship Impact Award

Note to Reporters: A photo of John Belisle is available with the news release at

John Belisle, internationally known tuberculosis researcher and Colorado State University professor of Bacteriology, has received CSU’s annual Scholarship Impact Award, one of the highest honors at the university.

Belisle received his award Tuesday at the university’s annual Celebrate! Colorado State event.

Belisle is recognized for his research in infectious disease. The Scholarship Impact Award, bestowed by the Office of the Vice President for Research, recognizes outstanding faculty whose scholarship has had a major impact nationally and/or internationally. The award includes $10,000 to support his research.

Belisle focuses on the physiology of the bacterium that causes tuberculosis and immune system response, then uses that information find new ways to treat, diagnose and prevent the disease. He directs the National Institutes of Health’s Rocky Mountain Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research, where experts collaborate on infectious disease research.

“John’s career epitomizes the cutting-edge, impactful work done by CSU faculty,” said Bill Farland, vice president for Research at CSU. “He is a world-class researcher, well-respected scholar and a strong ambassador for the great work that we do at CSU. We are very pleased to recognize John with this year’s Scholarship Impact Award.”

Belisle is currently heading up a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant to identify molecules in the urine, saliva or serum that signal a TB infection. The aim of this research is to demonstrate whether these bodily fluids provide a scientifically sound method of diagnosis and could be further developed into products that could be tested in clinical trials.

Belisle is a visionary scientist, working on a wide array of interdisciplinary research across the university. Along with his well-known tuberculosis research, Belisle is currently working on Lyme disease with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and several innovative leprosy studies.

This is the second top honor Belisle has received from CSU. In 2003, he was awarded the prestigious Monfort Professor Award. He was named an Honorary Scientist of the National Veterinary Research & Quarantine Service of the Republic of Korea in 2006. He has served on multiple national or international advisory boards or expert panels addressing various aspects of tuberculosis research. Before becoming director of the Rocky Mountain Regional Center of Excellence, he served as the director of the Mycobacteria Research Laboratories at CSU from 2002 to 2009.

Belisle received his doctoral degree from Colorado State University in 1992, completed a Post Doctoral Fellowship at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and became a member of the faculty at CSU in 1995.