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Stephen Desiderio, M.D., Ph.D.

Research summary

Stephen Desiderio, M.D., Ph.D.
Stephen Desiderio, M.D., Ph.D.

The Desiderio lab studies the molecular and genetic mechanisms underlying immune system development. Using a combination of genetics and biochemistry, the research team has defined a control mechanis restricting V(D)J recombination, which builds antigen receptor genes from discrete gene segments and generates immunologic diversity, to a specific time in the cell cycle. Current research focuses on how V(D)J recombination is controlled at the level of chromatin modification, which may govern accessibility of particular loci to the recombinase.

Another area of study is how immune cells respond to environmental cues. Some signals activate immune cells while others block responsiveness – a process called anergy. These signaling mechanisms share common features, including activation of kinases, mobilization of calcium and combinatorial regulation of transcription. The team is studying how calcium regulation plays a role in the decision between activation and anergy upon antigen receptor stimulation.

Additional information

Meet Dr. Desiderio

Q and A: On balancing a diverse immune system and a stable genome

On how making antibodies is like a slot machine:

Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics
Director, Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences
Director, Immunobiology Program, Institute for Cell Engineering

Graduate programs
Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology
Cellular and Molecular Medicine

View a list of publications on PubMed.

Contact information
Phone: 443-955-4735
Fax: 443-287-3109



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