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Denise Faustman, MD, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Director, Immunobiology Laboratory, Massachusetts General Hospital

Clinical Assistant, Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital

Contact Info

Denise Faustman
Massachusetts General Hospital
149 13th St
Charlestown, MA, 02129
Mailstop: CNY-3601
Phone: 617-726-4084
Fax: 617-726-4095


Lynne Murphy
Administrative Assistant III
Immunobiology Laboratory
Massachusetts General Hospital
Building 149, CNY-3601
Charlestown, MA, 01923
Mailstop: MGH1493601
Phone: 617-726-4084
Fax: 617-726-4095

DF/HCC Program Affiliation

Cancer Immunology

Lab Website

Faustman lab

Research Abstract

This study is part of our research program seeking to develop new, potentially curative treatments for autoimmune diseases and understand the regeneration of organs that occurs after autoimmunity is removed. . In this process we discovered a splenic stem cell with the unique human and murine adult expression of the Hox11 protein, a well-known oncogene that was originally described by Dr. Stan Korsmeyer. But unlike traditional opinion of this protein as an oncogene we discovered Hox11 identifies a very early fetal cell with multi-lineage potential to regenerate even in adult mice. In both the mouse and human this stem cell in non-diseased animals sits exclusively in the spleen. To date Hox11 stem cells have been shown to regenerate insulin-secreting islets, parts of the inner ear, salivary glands, tongue and bone tissues. Also additional work for our lab has suggested that splenectomy might be a new treatment option for ALL human tumors and a means to test the stem cell hypothesis by perhaps removing the origins of the cancer stem cell in an unusual location i.e. the spleen not the bone marrow of adults.


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