Current Research and Scholarly Interests
We maintain jointly functioning laboratory groups. Our focus is on gene regulation in the immune system, development and function of B cell subpopulations, and applications of Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting(FACS).
We have been interested for many years in the genetics and development of the immune system in mice. A major tool we have developed to aid us in this work is the Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorter(FACS), which permits analysis and sorting of viable cells very rapidly on the basis of fluorescence marking. Recently we have devised a method to study gene regulation at the individual cell level using the FACS and a fluorogenic substrate for E. coli lac Z-encoded ß-galactosidase (ß-gal).
Current Studies include:
1) A new population of B cells, Ly-1B, which follow different rules of differentiation than conventional B-cells, have different V gene repertoires and provide a model for autoimmune diseases and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).
2) Regulation of lymphocyte development, especially B and T cell development.
3) Cis and trans-acting elements regulating the variation of ß-gal expresstion in populations of lymphoid cells infected with lacZ recombinant retroviruses in which various viral and cellular promoters "drive" lacZ.
4) Cell lineage studies using introduced lacZ rDNA retroviruses as cellular markers with the FACS / b-gal assay.
5) The cell biology of AIDS in model systems including activation of b-gal expression in cells carrying the lacZ gene under control of HIV promoters and regulatory elements.
6) What transgenic mice can and can't tell us about cellular and molecular development of the immune system.
In addition to improving FACS operations with a dedicated group of engineers, computer scientists, programmers, and a physicist, opportunities always exist for technologically oriented students interested in molecular biology and immunology.