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Harald von Boehmer, MD, PhD

Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology, Harvard Medical School

Professor of Pathology, Cancer Immunology & AIDS, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Contact Info

Harald von Boehmer
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
450 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA, 02215
Mailstop: Smith 736
Phone: 617-632-6880
Fax: 617-632-6881
Harald_von_Boehmer@dfci.harvard.edu

Assistant

Not Available.

DF/HCC Program Affiliation

Cancer Immunology
Lymphoma and Myeloma

Research Abstract

The focus is on T cell development with implications for generation of distinct T cell lineages as well as acute lymphoblastic T cell leukemia (T-ALL). T cell receptor transgenic mice have been utilized to elucidate mechanisms of positive selection that result in the generation of CD8+ killer cells, CD4+ helper cells and CD4+ regulatory cells that express Foxp3. Presently, research focuses on T cell receptor and TGF-beta signaling pathways that permit conversion of na´ve T cells into regulatory T cells in vivo and result in antigen-specific tolerance to transplantation antigens. In disease models it was determined that antigen-specific Tregs can suppress tumor-specific immune response by preventing exocytosis of cytolytic granules by CD8 T cells during the effector phase.

Experiments concerned with T cell receptor- and Notch-signaling have revealed that lineage commitment is instructed by the intensity of TCR signals and that Notch signaling is mandatory for the generation of alpha/beta but not gamma/delta lineage cells. Overexpression of intracellular Notch results in T-ALL with highly reproducible phenotypes making it feasible to determine the contribution of oncogenes, tumor suppressors, genomic instability and microRNAs to molecular pathways of malignancy.

Publications

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