The National Institute of Allergy And Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has awarded a five-year, $5.9 million grant to develop a new vaccine against tuberculosis (TB), including the multi-drug resistant and extensively drug resistant forms, to researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University. The grant will allow the researchers to build on a new approach to creating a vaccine that is based on genetically altering Mycobaterium smegmatis, which is closely related to M. tuberculosis, the bacterial species that causes TB in humans. The researchers offered insight into their potential vaccine in a September 2011 study published in Nature Medicine. The researchers found that when genetically altered M. smegmatis was inoculated into mice, some of the animals were able to generate a robust immune response when exposed to M. tuberculosis. That immune response extended survival time and left a markedly reduced level of the TB bacteria in bodily tissues. The researchers will use the NIAID grant to try to improve vaccine efficacy by making further genetic modifications to the bacteria, and they will develop a manufacturing process for making batches for human use.