The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Epigenetics and Molecular Carcinogenesis
My research program focuses on investigations of the molecular pathways that regulate normal T-lymphocyte development and, conversely, the aberrant molecular pathways that result in lymphoma development. With regard to normal T-cell development, we are particularly interested in elucidating the interdependent, inductive interactions that occur between immature thymocytes and thymic epithelial cells (TECs) during the intrathymic maturation of both cell types. Ongoing studies involve identification of cortical and medullary TEC subsets and evaluation of their capacity to promote thymocyte differentiation. Using various transgenic and knock-out mouse models in which T-lymphocyte development is blocked at specific stages of maturation, we recently identified and characterized previously unrecognized TEC subsets and established their lineage relationships. Furthermore, we demonstrated that normal cortical TEC development requires interactions with early lymphocyte precursors that have undergone exclusive commitment to the T-cell lineage. The current objectives are to elucidate the cellular and molecular pathways that mediate the cross-talk that is essential for proper development of both thymocytes and TECs.
Education & Training
PhD, The University of Texas at Austin, 1970
Thymus Development and Homeostasis