Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics

Torrelles, Jordi B., Ph.D.

Adjunct Professor

Personal Statement:

I have a broad background in TB diagnostics, biochemistry and cell biology using primary human cells, with
specific training and expertise in key research areas for this proposal. I am an accomplished biochemist, having extensively studied the M.tb cell wall in the labs of Drs. PJ Brennan, D.Chatterjee and JT Belisle at Colorado State University (publishing 17 publications). I purified and structurally characterized cell envelope components of several M.tb strains (including MDR and XDR), M. leprae, M. avium and M. smegmatis (among others) and their signature motifs, as well as purification of cell envelope components from extremely small numbers of bacilli. I discovered a biologically active variant of mannose-­capped lipoarabinomannan (ManLAM) uniquely recognized by CD1-­restricted T-­cells (in collaboration with Drs. RL Modlin and PA Sieling), and developed a 2-­dimensional SDS-­PAGE system to visualize and purify ManLAM isoforms from M.tb and Mycobacterium leprae. In addition I defined the nature of M.tb cell wall components produced during infection in vitro in human macrophages (in collaboration with Drs. S Kaufmann and DG Russell).


Dr. Torrelles and his team of collaborators aim to develop a culture-based test to diagnose multi-, extensive- and extreme-drug resistant TB. He is working with partners on four continents to test this diagnostic approach. The hope is to reduce the current 56-80 days needed to determine TB drug susceptibility patterns to only 14 days or less, which will allow better therapies and reduce transmission.

Understand the impact of the human lung mucosa in TB pathogenesis is another research focus for Dr. Torrelles. He and his team have found that there are enzymes in the human lung mucosa that modify the bacteria prior to infecting host cells, thus, potentially redefining the M.tb pathway of infection and disease outcome.

Dr. Torrelles and his team currently have a patented TB vaccine candidate, based on a selective biochemical removal of lipids from the bacterium cell wall that mimics the modifications that M. tuberculosis suffers when it gets in contact with the human lung mucosa. This modified vaccine shows significantly greater protection in the mouse model and importantly a significant reduction in lung tissue damage, the hallmark of TB disease. Current studies are being scheduled in the Guinea pig model through the NIH/NIAID TB Vaccine Contract before nonhuman primate studies will begin prior to pre-clinical trials.

Awards & Accomplishments

1996 Catalan Health Foundation Travel Fellowship.
1997 Research Travel Award. Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology Spanish Society
1998 Master in Science Fellowship. Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology Spanish Society
2003 Post-­doctoral Fellowship, NIH-­NIAID, the Ohio State University, USA
2003 “Distinction to Excellence in Research”, awarded by the Ministry of Education of Spain
2006 James V. Warren Award as recognition of outstanding and excellence in research performed in
the Department of Internal Medicine at The Ohio State University
2006 NIH-­NIAID Keystone Symposium Scholarship “Innate Immunity”
2007 OSU Medical Center candidate elected for the 2008 Parker B. Francis Fellowship
2007 Society for Glycobiology Travel Award
2008 Parker B. Francis Fellowship in Pulmonary Research
2009 OSU candidate elected for the 2010 Pew Scholar Fellowship
2010 OSU Medical Center candidate elected for the 2011 Burroughs Wellcome Fund Program
2012 Public Health Preparedness for Infectious Diseases Travel Fellowship. Project: “Improving
tuberculosis diagnosis in Guatemala”
2015 OSU College of Medicine Special Award Recognizing Outstanding Faculty Performance


Complete List of Publications

  • Seveau S, Turner J, Gavrilin MA, Torrelles JB, Hall-Stoodley L, Yount JS, Amer
    AO. Checks and Balances between Autophagy and Inflammasomes during Infection. J
    Mol Biol. 2018 Jan 19;430(2):174-192. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2017.11.006. Epub 2017
    Nov 21. Review. PubMed PMID: 29162504; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5766433.
  • Domingo-Gonzalez R, Das S, Griffiths KL, Ahmed M, Bambouskova M, Gopal R, Gondi S, Muñoz-Torrico M, Salazar-Lezama MA, Cruz-Lagunas A, Jiménez-Álvarez L, Ramirez-Martinez G, Espinosa-Soto R, Sultana T, Lyons-Weiler J, Reinhart TA, Arcos J, de la Luz Garcia-Hernandez M, Mastrangelo MA, Al Hammadi N, Townsend R,  Balada-Llasat JM, Torrelles JB, Kaplan G, Horne W, Kolls JK, Artyomov MN, Rangel-Moreno J, Zúñiga J, Khader SA. Interleukin-17 limits hypoxia-inducible factor 1α and development of hypoxic granulomas during tuberculosis. JCI Insight.
    2017 Oct 5;2(19). pii: 92973. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.92973. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28978810.
  • Kulkarni MM, Ratcliff AN, Bhat M, Alwarawrah Y, Hughes P, Arcos J, Loiselle D, Torrelles JB, Funderburg NT, Haystead TA, Kwiek JJ. Cellular fatty acid synthase is required for late stages of HIV-1 replication. Retrovirology. 2017 Sep 29;14(1):45. doi: 10.1186/s12977-017-0368-z. PubMed PMID: 28962653; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5622536.
  • Moliva JI, Hossfeld AP, Canan CH, Dwivedi V, Wewers MD, Beamer G, Turner J, Torrelles JB. Exposure to human alveolar lining fluid enhances Mycobacterium bovis BCG vaccine efficacy against Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection in a CD8(+) T-cell-dependent manner. Mucosal Immunol. 2017 Sep 20. doi: 10.1038/mi.2017.80. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28930287.
  • Glass LN, Swapna G, Chavadi SS, Tufariello JM, Mi K, Drumm JE, Lam TT, Zhu G,  Zhan C, Vilchéze C, Arcos J, Chen Y, Bi L, Mehta S, Porcelli SA, Almo SC, Yeh SR, Jacobs WR Jr, Torrelles JB, Chan J. Mycobacterium tuberculosis universal stress protein Rv2623 interacts with the putative ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporter Rv1747 to regulate mycobacterial growth. PLoS Pathog. 2017 Jul 28;13(7):e1006515. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1006515. eCollection 2017 Jul. PubMed PMID: 28753640; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5549992.
  • Hill PJ, Scordo JM, Arcos J, Kirkby SE, Wewers MD, Wozniak DJ, Torrelles JB. Modifications of Pseudomonas aeruginosa cell envelope in the cystic fibrosis
    airway alters interactions with immune cells. Sci Rep. 2017 Jul 6;7(1):4761. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-05253-9. PubMed PMID: 28684799; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5500645.
  • Moliva JI, Turner J, Torrelles JB. Immune Responses to Bacillus Calmette-Guérin Vaccination: Why Do They Fail to Protect against Mycobacterium tuberculosis? Front Immunol. 2017 Apr 5;8:407. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2017.00407. eCollection 2017. Review. PubMed PMID: 28424703; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5380737.
  • Scordo JM, Arcos J, Kelley HV, Diangelo L, Sasindran SJ, Youngmin E, Wewers MD, Wang SH, Balada-Llasat JM, Torrelles JB. Mycobacterium tuberculosis Cell Wall Fragments Released upon Bacterial Contact with the Human Lung Mucosa Alter the Neutrophil Response to Infection. Front Immunol. 2017 Mar 20;8:307. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2017.00307. eCollection 2017. PubMed PMID: 28373877; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5357626.
  • Torrelles JB, Schlesinger LS. Integrating Lung Physiology, Immunology, and Tuberculosis. Trends Microbiol. 2017 Aug;25(8):688-697. doi:
    10.1016/j.tim.2017.03.007. Epub 2017 Mar 30. Review. PubMed PMID: 28366292; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5522344.
  • Arcos J, Sasindran SJ, Moliva JI, Scordo JM, Sidiki S, Guo H, Venigalla P, Kelley HV, Lin G, Diangelo L, Silwani SN, Zhang J, Turner J, Torrelles JB.
    Mycobacterium tuberculosis cell wall released fragments by the action of the human lung mucosa modulate macrophages to control infection in an IL-10-dependent manner. Mucosal Immunol. 2017 Sep;10(5):1248-1258. doi: 10.1038/mi.2016.115. Epub
    2016 Dec 21. PubMed PMID: 28000679; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5479761.
  • Kumar A, Gangaiah D, Torrelles JB, Rajashekara G. Polyphosphate and associated enzymes as global regulators of stress response and virulence in
    Campylobacter jejuni. World J Gastroenterol. 2016 Sep 7;22(33):7402-14. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v22.i33.7402. Review. PubMed PMID: 27672264; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5011657.
  • Hiremath J, Kang KI, Xia M, Elaish M, Binjawadagi B, Ouyang K, Dhakal S, Arcos J, Torrelles JB, Jiang X, Lee CW, Renukaradhya GJ. Entrapment of H1N1
    Influenza Virus Derived Conserved Peptides in PLGA Nanoparticles Enhances T Cell Response and Vaccine Efficacy in Pigs. PLoS One. 2016 Apr 19;11(4):e0151922. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151922. eCollection 2016. PubMed PMID: 27093541; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4836704.
  • Binjawadagi B, Lakshmanappa YS, Longchao Z, Dhakal S, Hiremath J, Ouyang K, Shyu DL, Arcos J, Pengcheng S, Gilbertie A, Zuckermann F, Torrelles JB, Jackwood  D, Fang Y, Renukaradhya GJ. Development of a porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus-like-particle-based vaccine and evaluation of its immunogenicity in pigs. Arch Virol. 2016 Jun;161(6):1579-89. doi: 10.1007/s00705-016-2812-0. Epub 2016 Mar 23. PubMed PMID: 27008569.
  • Ouyang K, Hiremath J, Binjawadagi B, Shyu DL, Dhakal S, Arcos J, Schleappi R, Holman L, Roof M, Torrelles JB, Renukaradhya GJ. Comparative analysis of routes of immunization of a live porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) vaccine in a heterologous virus challenge study. Vet Res. 2016 Mar 17;47:45. doi: 10.1186/s13567-016-0331-3. PubMed PMID: 26988085; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4797253.
  • Pina-Mimbela R, Madrid JA, Kumar A, Torrelles JB, Rajashekara G. Polyphosphate kinases modulate Campylobacter jejuni outer membrane constituents
    and alter its capacity to invade and survive in intestinal epithelial cells in vitro. Emerg Microbes Infect. 2015 Dec 30;4(12):e77. doi: 10.1038/emi.2015.77. PubMed PMID: 26714783; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4715166.
  • Scordo JM, Knoell DL, Torrelles JB. Alveolar Epithelial Cells in Mycobacterium tuberculosis Infection: Active Players or Innocent Bystanders? J
    Innate Immun. 2016;8(1):3-14. doi: 10.1159/000439275. Epub 2015 Sep 18. Review. PubMed PMID: 26384325; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4724319.
  • Moliva JI, Turner J, Torrelles JB. Prospects in Mycobacterium bovis Bacille Calmette et Guérin (BCG) vaccine diversity and delivery: why does BCG fail to
    protect against tuberculosis? Vaccine. 2015 Sep 22;33(39):5035-41. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2015.08.033. Epub 2015 Aug 28. Review. PubMed PMID: 26319069; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4577463.
  • Carrasco-González C, Torrelles JM, Cantó J, Curiel S, Surcis G, Vlemmings WH, van Langevelde HJ, Goddi C, Anglada G, Kim SW, Kim JS, Gómez JF. Stellar physics. Observing the onset of outflow collimation in a massive protostar. Science. 2015  Apr 3;348(6230):114-7. doi: 10.1126/science.aaa7216. PubMed PMID: 25838383.
  • Arcos J, Diangelo LE, Scordo JM, Sasindran SJ, Moliva JI, Turner J, Torrelles JB. Lung Mucosa Lining Fluid Modification of Mycobacterium tuberculosis to
    Reprogram Human Neutrophil Killing Mechanisms. J Infect Dis. 2015 Sep 15;212(6):948-58. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiv146. Epub 2015 Mar 6. PubMed PMID:
    25748325; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4548464.
  • Canan CH, Gokhale NS, Carruthers B, Lafuse WP, Schlesinger LS, Torrelles JB,  Turner J. Characterization of lung inflammation and its impact on macrophage function in aging. J Leukoc Biol. 2014 Sep;96(3):473-80. doi: 10.1189/jlb.4A0214-093RR. Epub 2014 Jun 16. PubMed PMID: 24935957; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4632167.