Infectious Diseases
Life Sciences Institute Room 2503
2350 Health Sciences Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia V6R 1Z3
Research Summary:

Our lab is engaged in both basic and translational research emphasizing mycobacterial genetics and biochemistry with the aim to develop new drugs in collaboration with industry and other academic groups. Our focus is primarily in tuberculosis (TB) research, studying signal transduction in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) and understanding the intracellular lifestyle of Mtb in order to develop new and better drugs that can target Mtb in its natural environment in the host.
We are also developing new screening methods to identify novel drugs against the nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) cystic fibrosis pathogen, M. abscessus. Finally, we have developed a nitric oxide inhalation therapy that is undergoing clinical trials for the treatment of lung infections


Dr. Yossef Av-Gay is a professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases in the Faculty of Medicine. He is also an associate member of the department of microbiology and immunology and holds an adjunct professorship at the medical school of Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel.
A microbiologist by training, his research interests lie with chronic lung diseases, primarily tuberculosis (TB), followed by nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) diseases . He explores molecular events that govern host-pathogen interactions and the ability of mycobacteria to block the immune response to infection. Dr. Av-Gay’s research is geared towards the identification and characterization of novel drugs and drug targets in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Dr. Av-Gay’s most significant discovery was the identification and characterization of PtpA, a protein phosphatase in Mtb which inhibits the normal macrophage response to infection.
Prof. Av-Gay received his BSc in Biology, MSc in Microbiology, and PhD in Microbial Genetics – all from Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel, and advanced training at John Innes Institute, Norwich, UK, Albert Einstein Collage of Medicine, New York and UBC department of Microbiology.
Prof. Av-Gay authored over 100 peer review scientific publications, review articles, book chapters and 15 patents. Prof. Av-Gay served as an editor for the Journal of Biological Chemistry (2010-2015), and on scientific advisory boards of several biotechnology companies. Prof. Av-Gay is a member of the scientific review panels of the Canadian Institute of Health Research (Microbiology and Infectious Disease (2009-2016) and Foundation and Project Grants (2016-) , the French Agence Nationale de la Recherche, Innovative Medicine Innovations, The UK welcome Trust, US National Institute of Health, and the European Commission FP6, FP7 and Horizon 2020 programs.

Tel Aviv University, 1988, BSc (Life Sciences)
Tel Aviv University, 1990, MSc (Microbiology)
Tel Aviv University, 1994, PhD (Microbiology and Biotechnology)
Department of Microbiology and Immunology , Associate Member
Medical School of Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel., Adjunct Professorship
Recent Publications:
Awards & Recognition:
  • 2017-2018 Robbie Award – $279,000 CAD
    Cystic Fibrosis Canada – Prize/Award
  • 2001/9-2006/8
    CIHR – BC Lung New Investigator Award – $250,000 CAD
    University of British Columbia – Prize/Award
  • 2000/7-2003/7
    VHHSC Scientist – $180,000 CAD
    University of British Columbia – Distinction
  • Host-pathogen interaction directed therapies in Tuberculosis
    Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Ottawa)
    2017-04-01 to 2022-03-31|Grant

    GRANT_NUMBER: grant.2e037f8d113325b862d60a439e6ae472
    URL: https://grants.uberresearch.com/501100000024/2e037f8d113325b862d60a439e6ae472/Host-pathogen-interaction-directed-therapies-in-Tuberculosis

  • Intracellular growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis: Prospects for drug discovery.
    Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Ottawa)
    2016-07-01 to 2021-06-30|Grant

    GRANT_NUMBER: grant.48abf67003d6977e978310638f38413e
    URL: https://grants.uberresearch.com/501100000024/48abf67003d6977e978310638f38413e/Intracellular-growth-of-Mycobacterium-tuberculosis-Prospects-for-drug-discovery

  • Molecular analysis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Signalling
    Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Ottawa)
    2010-10-01 to 2015-09-30|Grant

    GRANT_NUMBER: grant.0bee2ed1a03185f1107bfae5c0937833
    URL: https://grants.uberresearch.com/501100000024/0bee2ed1a03185f1107bfae5c0937833/Molecular-analysis-of-Mycobacterium-tuberculosis-Signalling

  • High-throughput screening and identification of anti-TB compounds from a unique natural product library
    Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Ottawa)
    2010-01-01 to 2012-12-31|Grant

    GRANT_NUMBER: 102941
    GRANT_NUMBER: 102941

  • Characterization of the Interaction between Mycobacterium tuberculosis Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase A and Host Vacuolar H+-ATPase
    Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Ottawa)
    2009-09-01 to 2012-05-16|Grant

    GRANT_NUMBER: b528aaf7aa0add3ad6d4d9a24f2d13ef
    URL: https://grants.uberresearch.com/501100000024/b528aaf7aa0add3ad6d4d9a24f2d13ef/Characterization-of-the-Interaction-between-Mycobacterium-tuberculosis-Protein-Tyrosine-Phosphatase-A-and-Host-Vacuolar-H-ATPase

  • PtpA, a Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Protein, is Involved in Blocking Macrophage’s Signaling Pathway.
    Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Ottawa)
    2009-09-01 to 2010-08-31|Grant

    GRANT_NUMBER: 06d55262737f108f94851443fc5b2256
    URL: https://grants.uberresearch.com/501100000024/06d55262737f108f94851443fc5b2256/PtpA-a-Mycobacterium-Tuberculosis-Protein-is-Involved-in-Blocking-Macrophages-Signaling-Pathway

  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase A (PtpA) dependent mycobacterial manipulation of host response to infection
    Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Ottawa)
    2008-09-01 to 2009-08-31|Grant

    GRANT_NUMBER: 88a0c3b2d19cfbe30a22ec294fde494e
    URL: https://grants.uberresearch.com/501100000024/88a0c3b2d19cfbe30a22ec294fde494e/Protein-Tyrosine-Phosphatase-A-PtpA-dependent-mycobacterial-manipulation-of-host-response-to-infection

  • Mycobacterial cholesterol metabolism: A key piece in the pathogenesis puzzle?
    Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Ottawa)
    2008-04-01 to 2013-03-31|Grant

    GRANT_NUMBER: 2c7d81554782544d4ac5a13557e8be25
    URL: https://grants.uberresearch.com/501100000024/2c7d81554782544d4ac5a13557e8be25/Mycobacterial-cholesterol-metabolism-A-key-piece-in-the-pathogenesis-puzzle

  • The role of serine/threonine protein kinase pknJ in Mycobacterium tuberculosis physiology, antibiotic resistance, and virulence
    Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Ottawa)
    2007-05-01 to 2010-04-30|Grant

    GRANT_NUMBER: grant.a3a9b965297ad137ebefe88da9d3cc02
    URL: https://grants.uberresearch.com/501100000024/a3a9b965297ad137eb

  • Chemical genetics of intrinsic antibiotic resistance and virulence determinants in Mycobacterium tuberculosis
    Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Ottawa)
    2007-04-01 to 2009-03-31|Grant

    GRANT_NUMBER: 83102
    GRANT_NUMBER: 83102

  • Molecular analysis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis protein kinases and phosphatses
    Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Ottawa)
    2004-10-01 to 2010-09-30|Grant

    GRANT_NUMBER: 68857
    GRANT_NUMBER: 68857

  • Mycothiol dependent detoxification system in mycobacteria
    Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Ottawa)
    2003-10-01 to 2004-03-31|Grant

    GRANT_NUMBER: 64950
    GRANT_NUMBER: 64950

  • UBC Training Program for Translational Research in Infectious Diseases
    Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Ottawa)
    2003-04-01 to 2008-09-30|Grant

    GRANT_NUMBER: 6fb7d7ea22f8bdefe561b969ae46b70e
    URL: https://grants.uberresearch.com/501100000024/6fb7d7ea22f8bdefe561b969ae46b70e/UBC-Training-Program-for-Translational-Research-in-Infectious-Diseases

  • Canadian Bacterial Diseases Network (CBDN)
    Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (Ottawa)
    2003-04-01 to 2005-03-31|Grant

    GRANT_NUMBER: 286990

    GRANT_NUMBER: 286990

  • Screening of a small molecule compound library against a family of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) targets.
    Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Ottawa)
    2002-11-01 to 2003-03-31|Grant

    GRANT_NUMBER: 62034
    GRANT_NUMBER: 62034

  • Molecular analysis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis cell signaling elements
    Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Ottawa)
    2001-07-01 to 2006-06-30|Grant

    GRANT_NUMBER: 47862
    GRANT_NUMBER: 47862

  • Molecular analysis of Mycobacterium tubercolosis protein kinases and phosphates
    Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Ottawa)
    2001-04-01 to 2004-03-31|Grant

    GRANT_NUMBER: 43941
    GRANT_NUMBER: 43941

  • Protein phosphorylation in M. tuberculosis
    Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Ottawa)
    1999-05-01 to 2002-04-30|Grant

    GRANT_NUMBER: 15752
    GRANT_NUMBER: 15752

  • University of British Columbia: Vancouver, BC

    2008-07-01 to present | Professor (Medicine)
  • University of British Columbia: Vancouver, BC

    2003-07-01 to 2008-06-31 | Associate Professor (Medicine)
  • University of British Columbia: Vancouver, BC

    1997-01-01 to 2003-06-31 | Assistant Professor (Medicine)