The overarching mission of the Honda Lab is to understand the biology of nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) lung disease. NTM lung disease is an emerging public health threat of increasing importance globally. NTM are found in soil and water and not everyone who is exposed develops infection; thus, it is likely a variety of factors drive disease emergence. For unknown reasons, Hawai’i shows the highest numbers of NTM lung disease cases in the United States. Our team is actively studying the 1) environmental- 2) host– 3) microbial factors that contribute to NTM lung disease emergence in Hawai’i and in other Pacific Islands in order to better understand disease emergence in the United States and globally. Additionally, environmental and clinical NTM isolates from Hawai’i are used to explore the intra- and inter- NTM species differences that contribute to pathogenicity and host evasion. 

The Honda lab is supported by grants from the American Thoracic Society, National Science Foundation, and the Shoot for the Cure and Padosi Foundations.


Lab Resources & Services

The Honda laboratory is a part of the Center for Genes, Environment, and Health (CGEH) and is located on the 5th floor of the Neustadt Building where the lab utilizes various unique research methods for NTM basic science research. The lab routinely cultures for environmental NTM from soil and biofilm samples. Additionally, the lab partners with the CGEH Genomic Facility and the NTM Center of Excellence.

Current Projects & Grant Information

  • Critical host-pathogen interactions in the context of nontuberculous mycobacterial lung disease
  • Unearthing the environmental, host, and nontuberculous mycobacterial factors that interact to cause lung disease in the Hawaiian Islands
  • Using clinical isolates from Hawai’i to understand Mycobacterium avium complex virulence
  • Investigations of the nontuberculous mycobacterial lung disease triad in the context of cystic fibrosis


Contact Information

Dr. Jennifer R. Honda
National Jewish Health
Center for Genes, Environment and Health
Neustadt Building, Room D504
1400 Jackson St. 
Denver, CO 80206
Office: 303.398.1015


Open Positions

There are no current openings. However, Dr. Honda is always interested in hearing from enthusiastic and talented, self-driven, and resourceful individuals interested in collaborative mycobacterial lung disease research.


Tran, T, Bonham, A.J., Chan, E.D. and J.R. Honda. A paucity of knowledge regarding nontuberculous mycobacterial lipids compared to the tubercle bacillus. Tuberculosis J. 2019. Abstract

Honda, JR, Virdi, R. and ED. Chan. Global environmental nontuberculous mycobacteria and their contemporaneous man-made and natural niches. Frontiers in Microbiology, 2018. Abstract

Adjemian J, Frankland TB, Daida YG, Honda JR, Olivier KN, Zelazny A, Honda S, Prevots DR. “Epidemiology of nontuberculous mycobacterial lung disease and tuberculosis, Hawaii, USA. Emerg Infect Dis. 2017. Abstract

Honda, J.R., Hasan, N.A., Davidson, R.M., Williams, M.D., Epperson, L.E., Reynolds, P.R., Smith, T., Iakhiaeva, E., Bankowski, M.J., Wallace, R.J., Chan, E.D., Falkinham, J. and M. Strong. “Environmental Nontuberculous Mycobacteria in the Hawaiian Islands.” PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 2016. Abstract

Abe, J., Alop-Mabuti, A., Burger, P., Button, J., Ellsberry, M., Hitzeman, J., Morgenstern, D., Nunies, K., Strother, M., Darling-Munson, J., Chan., Y.L., Cassady, R., Vasconcellos, S.M., Iseman, M.D., Chan, E.D. and J.R. Honda. “Comparing the temporal colonization and microbial diversity of showerhead biofilms in Hawai’i and Colorado.” FEMS Microbiology Letters, 2016. Abstract

Honda, JR., Hess, T., Malcolm, KC., Ovrutsky, AR., Bai, X. Irani, VR. Dobos, K.M., Chan, ED and SC Flores. Pathogenic nontuberculous mycobacteria resist and inactivate cathelicidin: implication of a novel role for polar mycobacterial lipids.” PLOS One, 2015 Abstract

More Publications