Contact: Alexander Shtifman
Phone: 617-713-8989

Dr. Ba, a postdoctoral fellow in Frederick Alt's lab, will investigate the mechanisms that mediate the intra-locus and inter-locus regulation of V(D)J recombination at Ig kappa and Ig lambda loci during B cell development, and identify RAG off-target activities genome-wide. This work will provide new insights into mechanisms of chromosomal translocations associated with leukemias and lymphomas and ultimately could provide insights into minimizing or preventing such aberrant events.

Dr. Zhang, a postdoctoral fellow in Hao Wu's lab, will investigate the structure and regulation mechanism of inflammasome complexes, which are defenders against cytosolic infections by pathogen through recruitment and activation of pro-caspase-1. Abnormal inhibition and activation of the inflammasome complexes cause many human diseases. For example in the NAIP/NLRC4 inflammasome complex, NLRC4 knockout mice show increased tumor formation compared with wild type mice. NLRC4, along with caspase-1, has been shown to regulate tumorigenesis in a mouse model of colitis-associated colorectal cancer (CAC). This work will provide important insights into cytosolic pathogen sensing mechanisms that could lead to new strategies on disease treatment and drug development.