Laurie H. Glimcher, MD
Professor, Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard School Of Public Health
Director, Biological Sciences, Harvard School Of Public Health
DF/HCC Program AffiliationCancer Immunology
LAURIE H. GLIMCHER, M.D., Irene Heinz Given Professor of Immunology (Harvard School of Public Health) and Professor of Medicine (HMS). The major focus of Dr. Glimcher's laboratory is the study of T helper cell differentiation. There is abundant evidence now that the ratio of Th1 to Th2 cells is highly relevant to clinical diseases, including autoimmune, infectious, and allergic diseases. Therefore, the ability to alter the ratios of Th1 and Th2 subsets provides exciting therapeutic options. Her laboratory has concentrated its efforts over the last year on ways in which this manipulation can be achieved. They recently demonstrated that costimulatory molecules can differentially drive T helper cell development Another approach to altering Th subset ratios is to increase or block the synthesis of or effects of selected cytokines. Dr. Glimcher's laboratory studies both the function of interleukin-4 by defining novel IL-4 inducible genes in T lymphocytes and the mechanisms that underlie tissue-specific cytokine gene transcription. Her laboratory has recently defined the genetic basis of IL-4 expression in T cells. Her group identified the proto-oncogene c-maf as the transcription factor responsible for Th2 specific IL-4 expression and subsequently isolated a second novel nuclear protein, NIP45, which together with c-maf and NF-AT allows reconstitution of IL-4 transcription in non-T cells. Her laboratory has also recently produced and characterized mice deficient in cytokine-specific transcription factors. Such mice have provided insight into the differential control of cytokine gene expression and have provided powerful models of allergic and autoimmune disease.
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