Abraham "Avi" Kupfer, Ph.D.
The Kupfer lab aims to understand the complex physiological mechanisms of inter- and intra-cellular communication in the immune system. T cells play a central role in regulating the cellular and humoral responses towards invading pathogens and malignant transformation. Improper recognition of self-antigens by T cells is the primary cause of most autoimmune diseases. The critical molecular and cellular mechanisms that the T cells use to respond properly to engagement of their T Cell Receptors (TCRs) are still unclear.
Using a combination of biochemical, genetic and novel multi-dimensional digital imaging approaches the team studies complex multi dimensional signal integration rather than signal dissection during the interaction of T cells with live antigen-presenting cells (APCs). Protein Kinase C-theta was identified as the first key protein that serves as master switch for determining the physiological outcome to initial T cell activation. These studies identified the previously unknown structure of the Immunological-Synapse that is composed of different Supra-Molecular Activation Clusters (SMACs) of receptors, cytoskeletal and signaling proteins. The lab continues to study the 4-dimensional structure and function of the dynamic SMACs and their roles in regulation of the immune response.
Meet Dr. Kupfer
On curbing overactive immune systems:
Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology
View a list of publications on PubMed.