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B-Cell Immunobiology Laboratory
Gregg J. Silverman, MD
Professor of Medicine and Pathology
Dr. Silverman has been involved in studies of autoantibodies since the time of his fellowship at the Scripps Research Foundation in 1986. Working in the laboratory of Prof. Dennis Carson, these studies began with clinical samples from the laboratory of Henry Kunkel (Rockefeller Institute), the father of modern clinical immunology and the analysis of antibody gene usage in human rheumatoid factors from patients with essential mixed cryoglobulinemia, Hepatitis C, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Sjogrens syndrome. These studies later evolved into investigations fo the human B-cell repertoire and the response to B-cell superantigens, which can result in supra-clonal expansions or programmed cell death.
From earlier collaborative studies with the laboratory of Joseph Witztum (UC San Diego), we have subsequently developed new insights into the immunomodulatory properties of B-cells as producers of protective autoantibodies to apoptotic cell membrane determinants that may oppose the development of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Recent work has led to the development of the Dual inhibitor receptor hypothesis, which provides a theoretical model to explain the molecular mechanisms of natural antibody mediated clearance of apoptotic cells and immune modulation. For more than a decade, Dr. Silverman has also directed an annual coure of phage display and recombinant antibody technology at Cold Spring Harbor Labs.
Dr. Silverman is also a practicing rheumatologist with a special interest in caring for patients with lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and related conditions. After more than two decades on the faculty at UCSD, Dr. Silverman moved to NYU School of Medicine in early 2011.
Caroline Grönwall, Ph.D.
Dr. Grönwall joined the Silverman lab in 2008 and has a background in molecular biotechnology and protein engineering. She completed her doctoral training under Professor Stefan Stahl at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden, in close collaboration with a biotech company in studies that used combinatorial protein engineering for developing new biomolecules for biotechnology, diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Her studies included using phage-display technology for isolating novel affinity ligands, called Afflbody molecules, which can bind with high affinity and specificity for human proteins.
In the research group of Dr. Silverman, her main focus is antibody engineering and optimization of immunomodulatory monoclonal antibodies that recognize apoptotic cells. She is also studying the regulation of inflammatory signaling pathways in immune cells as well as performing serological surveys of autoantibody levels in clinical samples.
Post Doctoral Researcher
Jaya Vas, Ph.D.
|Dr. Vas has worked on autoimmune disease models since the time of her graduate studies in the laboratory of Prof. Marc Monestier at Temple University, where she studied the role of environmental agents in triggering and regulating systematic autoimmunity. In the Silverman Laboratory, she studies the effects of protective anti-apoptotic cell membrane autoantibodies on responses to pathogenic immune complexes that trigger development of lupus. She is also studying in vivo effects of these autoantibodies in mouse models of rheumatoid arthritis.|
Post Doctoral Researcher
About the B-Cell Immunobiology Lab
Our research group has focused on the body's capacity to produce antibodies in health and disease, and how these antibodies coordinate the functions of the overall immune system. We have been especially interested in better understanding the disease pathways in rheumatoid arthritis and in systemic lupus erythematous. Our recent studies have led us to also investigate fundamental pathways of inflammations relevant to a broad range of diseases.
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