World TB Day invites future scientists into a real lab

Students in lab
World TB Day at CSU raises awareness of tuberculosis research and gives high school students a chance to see a laboratory in action. Photo by CSU Photography

High school students will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience alongside tuberculosis researchers working to put a halt to the infamous disease’s spread at this year’s World TB Day at Colorado State University on Tuesday, March 24.

Beginning at 9 a.m. at the Research Innovation Center on CSU’s Foothills Campus, participants will become part of virtual reality simulations, lab experiments, meetings with world-renowned researchers — even donning the gear needed in a Biosafety Level 3 laboratory to work with pathogens harmful to humans.

“One of the biggest goals of World TB Day at CSU is to educate students who have an interest in the STEM fields into considering a career where they can help combat diseases like tuberculosis,” said Karen Dobos, professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology and associate director of the Mycobacteria Research Laboratories at CSU.

The event is designed to appeal to students with interests ranging from biology and statistics to artificial intelligence. Dobos notes that combating infectious diseases will require innovative scientists emerging in all fields.

Step inside the lab

Tuberculosis kills more than 1 million people each year, and while a cure is available, staying ahead of this disease and solving this global public health problem remains a pressing issue. Drug resistance, along with a lack of education and access to treatment, have exacerbated the ongoing prevalence of TB.

But not everyone who would like to study such infectious diseases has available resources and facilities. Dobos and other members of the Mycobacteria Research Laboratories believe CSU as a university has the responsibility to conduct research on this front while inspiring the next generation of researchers who will undoubtedly have new problems to solve.

“CSU is home to one of the largest TB research consortia in the world,” Dobos said. “That’s why we feel responsible for outreach and engagement with future scientists.”

To register as a student participant for this event visit: