Clifton Earl Barry, Ph.D.

Senior Investigator

Tuberculosis Research Section


4 Memorial Drive, Room 228B
Bethesda, MD 20814


Research Topics

Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the leading infectious diseases in the world, with approximately one-third of the world’s population harboring the causative agent, Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). Though previously a disease associated with aristocratic societies, TB is now predominantly a third-world disease, particularly affecting Asian communities and sub-Saharan Africa. Mtb isolates are increasingly resistant to drug therapies: multidrug-resistant TB (MDR TB) or more severely, extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR TB). As a consequence of these emerging strains, it is becoming increasingly apparent that novel drugs are necessary to combat Mtb infections.

Tuberculosis Research Section

The Tuberculosis Research Section (TBRS) is a multidisciplinary group of research scientists comprised of biologists, chemists, and clinical researchers who share a common interest in TB. TBRS projects focus on understanding the scientific issues that facilitate the development of drugs that will make a genuine difference in the outcome for TB subjects globally. TBRS scientists are highly interactive worldwide in this endeavor, and as a result of our outstanding collaborators, TBRS has the distinction of being the most highly-cited research group in the world in the field of TB over the past 10 years. They were cited in Nature Medicine’s “The top twenty research papers on tuberculosis” (13(3):276-7, 2007). Learn more about the TBRS ranking among TB researchers worldwide.

International Tuberculosis Research Center

The International Tuberculosis Research Center (ITRC) is the product of an on-going collaboration between NIAID and the South Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare. Research scientists at ITRC focus on human clinical trials of TB, particularly MDR TB and XDR TB.

ITRC is divided into three sections: Immunology and Pathology, Bacteriology, and Clinical Research. ITRC scientists are designing and evaluating rapid molecular diagnostics for determining TB drug resistance, surrogate immunologic markers for determining effective response to TB chemotherapy, and understanding the epidemiology of MDR and XDR TB in Korea.


Dr. Barry received his Ph.D. in organic and bio-organic chemistry in 1989 from Cornell University. He joined NIAID following postdoctoral research at Johns Hopkins University. In 1998, he was tenured as chief of the TBRS. Dr. Barry is a member of several editorial boards, has authored more than 120 research publications in tuberculosis, and is the most cited researcher in the field, according to

Selected Publications

  1. Xie YL, de Jager VR, Chen RY, Dodd LE, Paripati P, Via LE, Follmann D, Wang J, Lumbard K, Lahouar S, Malherbe ST, Andrews J, Yu X, Goldfeder LC, Cai Y, Arora K, Loxton AG, Vanker N, Duvenhage M, Winter J, Song T, Walzl G, Diacon AH, Barry CE 3rd. Fourteen-day PET/CT imaging to monitor drug combination activity in treated individuals with tuberculosis. Sci Transl Med. 2021;13(579).
  2. Wang Q, Boshoff HIM, Harrison JR, Ray PC, Green SR, Wyatt PG, Barry CE 3rd. PE/PPE proteins mediate nutrient transport across the outer membrane of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Science. 2020;367(6482):1147-1151.
  3. Lee M, Lee J, Carroll MW, Choi H, Min S, Song T, Via LE, Goldfeder LC, Kang E, Jin B, Park H, Kwak H, Kim H, Jeon HS, Jeong I, Joh JS, Chen RY, Olivier KN, Shaw PA, Follmann D, Song SD, Lee JK, Lee D, Kim CT, Dartois V, Park SK, Cho SN, Barry CE 3rd. Linezolid for treatment of chronic extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis. N Engl J Med. 2012;367(16):1508-18.
  4. Prideaux B, Via LE, Zimmerman MD, Eum S, Sarathy J, O'Brien P, Chen C, Kaya F, Weiner DM, Chen PY, Song T, Lee M, Shim TS, Cho JS, Kim W, Cho SN, Olivier KN, Barry CE 3rd, Dartois V. The association between sterilizing activity and drug distribution into tuberculosis lesions. Nat Med. 2015;21(10):1223-7.
  5. Coleman MT, Chen RY, Lee M, Lin PL, Dodd LE, Maiello P, Via LE, Kim Y, Marriner G, Dartois V, Scanga C, Janssen C, Wang J, Klein E, Cho SN, Barry CE 3rd, Flynn JL. PET/CT imaging reveals a therapeutic response to oxazolidinones in macaques and humans with tuberculosis. Sci Transl Med. 2014;6(265):265ra167.

Related Scientific Focus Areas

This page was last updated on Monday, August 23, 2021