Larry S. Schlesinger, MD
Larry S. Schlesinger, MD, is the Samuel Saslaw Professor of Medicine, first Chair of the Department of Microbial Infection and Immunity and founding Director of The Ohio State University (OSU) Center for Microbial Interface Biology, an interdisciplinary campus-wide program that focuses on infectious diseases. He is an internationally recognized physician-scientist in the pathogenesis of tuberculosis and other diseases caused by intracellular pathogens that manipulate lung immune mechanisms.
He and his team are addressing unmet needs in the field of tuberculosis by focusing on the development of novel drugs and combination regimens. His laboratory is refining lead small molecule compounds derived from a eukaryotic protein kinase inhibitor that show antimicrobial activities. Working with medicinal chemists, Dr. Schlesinger’s team is using a newly developed in vitro bioluminescence assay to screen the activity of a collection of related small molecules. By generating rare bacterial mutants in cultures exposed to the most potent drug compounds, drug targets will be identified.
Dr. Schlesinger earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, and his medical degree from Rutgers University of Medicine, New Brunswick, NJ.He served as Fellowship Director for the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Iowa and was Associate Chair of the Department of Medicine before moving to OSU. His entire career has been devoted to understanding the human immune response to pathogens. His discoveries have provided insight into the activity of soluble and cellular components of the innate immune system in the microbe-host interface, which he translates into drug discovery platforms.
Dr. Schlesinger has been part of 10 pre- and post-doctoral training programs through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and he is currently the Principal Investigator on two NIH T32 training grants. He became Director of the OSU Medical Scientist Program in 2008 and was subsequently awarded the inaugural NIH-funded Medical Scientist Training Program at OSU.