Changchun Xiao, PhD
Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA
2009 B Cells
Functional Analysis of MicroRNAs in Systemic Immune Tolerance
The immune system uses a mechanism called “tolerance” to avoid attacking its own tissues and organs while still being able to respond to infection by foreign substances. When "tolerance" breaks down, lupus and other autoimmune disease can arise.
With LRI funding, Dr. Xiao will analyze genes that appear to play an important role in orchestrating this system of immune tolerance, focusing specifically on a newly discovered class of regulators of gene expression—microRNAs. He will examine one microRNA in particular and its link to the development of autoimmune disease and the breaking of B cell tolerance.
In addition to producing key findings on B-cell tolerance specifically, Dr. Xiao’s innovative work will shine new light on how “tolerance” works in lupus and autoimmunity.