Maximiliano Gutierrez

Host-Pathogen Interactions in Tuberculosis Laboratory

Tuberculosis is the second cause of death from infectious diseases worldwide, with an estimated 9 million new cases in 2011. In 2012, 8.6 million people developed tuberculosis and 1.3 million died from this disease. In most of the infected people, bacteria establish a latent infection and over 2 billion people are estimated to have latent tuberculosis.

The key event during Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection is the ability of this pathogen to manipulate the host cell machinery. Although in vitro and in vivo studies have shed light on important aspects of tuberculosis pathogenesis, our current understanding of how M. tuberculosis manages to survive within eukaryotic cells and why host cells are in some cases able to eradicate this pathogen is very limited.

Our work aims to improve our knowledge of how M. tuberculosis survives within host cells and, on the other hand, the host cell autonomous mechanisms against mycobacteria. For that, we combine powerful quantitative confocal and electron microscopy approaches with biochemical and genetic tools.

We believe that understanding of the very fundamental biology of M. tuberculosis that considers its intracellular lifestyle is crucial for developing new therapies towards tuberculosis control.

Selected publications

Gutierrez, MG; Master, SS; Singh, SB; Taylor, GA; Colombo, MI and Deretic, V (2004) Autophagy is a defense mechanism inhibiting BCG and Mycobacterium tuberculosis survival in infected macrophages  Cell 119, 753-766  

Gutierrez, MG; Mishra, BB; Jordao, L; Elliott, E; Anes, E and Griffiths, G (2008) NF-╬║B activation controls phagolysosome fusion-mediated killing of mycobacteria by macrophages  Journal of Immunology 181, 2651-2663 


Maximiliano Gutierrez
+44 (0)20 379 61460

  • Qualifications and history
  • 2002 Biochemistry Degree, Universidad Nacional de San Luis, Argentina
  • 2003 Research Visitor, University of New Mexico, USA
  • 2004 Research Visitor, European Molecular Biology Laboratories (EMBL), Germany
  • 2005 PhD in Biochemistry, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Argentina
  • 2006 Post-Doctoral Fellow, European Molecular Biology Laboratories (EMBL), Germany
  • 2009 Junior Group Leader, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI), Germany
  • 2012 Programme Leader Track, Medical Research Council National Institute for Medical Research, London, UK
  • 2015 Group Leader, the Francis Crick Institute, London, UK