Joel L. Pomerantz, Ph.D.

Headshot of Joel L. Pomerantz
  • Associate Professor of Biological Chemistry

Research Interests

Mechanisms of signal transduction in immunity and cancer; antigen receptor signaling to NF-kappaB; Dysregulated signal transduction in Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma; Regulation of NK Cell Maturation and Cytotoxicity; CRISPR/Cas9-based genetic screens in immunity and cancer more


Dr. Joel L. Pomerantz is an associate professor of biological chemistry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a member of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. His research focuses on functional specificity and the design of signal transduction pathways.

Dr. Pomerantz received his B.A. in biochemistry from Brandeis University in 1989 and completed his Ph.D. in biology in Phillip A. Sharp's laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1995. He then completed two postdoctoral fellowships in biology, the first one at MIT with Carl O. Pabo in 1997 and the second in David Baltimore's laboratory at the California Institute of Technology in 2003. He joined the faculty of Johns Hopkins in 2004.

His work examines the molecular machinery used by cells to interpret extracellular signals and transduce them to the nucleus to effect changes in gene expression, which results in a cell's decision to proliferate, differentiate, or die. The dysregulation of this machinery underlies the unwarranted expansion or destruction of cell numbers that occurs in human diseases like cancer, autoimmunity, hyperinflammatory states and neurodegenerative disease.

Dr. Pomerantz is a member of the American Society for Microbiology and the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and serves on the editorial boards of Molecular and Cellular Biology and the Journal of Biological Chemistry. He has authored or co-authored several peer-reviewed articles and one book chapter, has received numerous grants and awards and holds two patents. more


  • Associate Professor of Biological Chemistry
  • Associate Professor of Oncology

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • B.A.; Brandeis University (Massachusetts) (1989)
  • Ph.D.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Massachusetts) (1995)

Additional Training

  • California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, 2003, Biology; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 1996, Biology

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Pomerantz and members of his lab currently study signaling pathways that are important in innate immunity, adaptive immunity, and in cancer, paying particular attention to pathways that regulate the activity of the pleiotropic transcription factor NF-kappaB. One molecule that signals to NF-kappaB is CARD11 and the team is investigating the biochemical mechanisms by which CARD11 transduces signals from the T-cell receptor to NF-kappaB. Using a new expression cloning strategy designed to isolate molecules that signal to NF-kappaB in lymphocytes, the team has cloned several novel signaling molecules that activate the NF-kappaB or NFAT transcription factors and is currently working to better understand their mechanisms of action.


Lab Website: Joel Pomerantz Laboratory

Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

Bedsaul JR, Shah N, Hutcherson SM, Pomerantz JL. Mechanistic Impact of Oligomer Poisoning by Dominant Negative CARD11 Variants. iScience. 2022. 25 (2):103810

Hutcherson SM, Bedsaul JR, Pomerantz JL. Pathway-specific Defects in T, B, and NK cells and Age-dependent Development of High IgE in Mice Heterozygous for a CADINS-associated Dominant Negative CARD11 Allele.  J Immunol. 2021. 207 (4):1150-1164

Wang Z, Hutcherson SM, Yang C, Jattani RP, Tritapoe JM, Yang YK, Pomerantz JL. Coordinated Regulation of Scaffold Opening and Enzymatic Activity During CARD11 Signaling, J. Biol Chem. 2019. 294 (40): 14648-14660

Dadi H*, Jones TA*, Merico D*, Sharfe N, Ovadia A, Schejter Y, Reid B, Sun M, Vong L, Atkinson A, Lavi S, Pomerantz JL#, Roifman CM^#. Combined Immunodeficiency and Atopy Caused by a Dominant Negative Mutation in CARD11. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2018. 141 (5): 1818-1830. authors contributed equally  #*^co-senior authors

Yang YK, Yang C, Chan W, Wang Z, Deibel KE, Pomerantz JL. Molecular Determinants of Scaffold-induced Linear Ubiquitinylation of B cell lymphoma/leukemia 10 (Bcl10) During T Cell receptor and Oncogenic Caspase Recruitment Domain-Containing Protein 11 (CARD11) Signaling. J. Biol Chem. 2016. 291(50): 25921-25936

Contact for Research Inquiries

Email me Phone: 443-287-3100

Academic Affiliations & Courses

Graduate Program Affiliation

Cellular and Molecular Medicine

Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology

Graduate Program in Immunology

Biological Chemistry

Activities & Honors


  • Summa cum laude, Brandeis University, 1989
  • Julian J. and Helen R. Behr Scholarship Prize, Brandeis University, 1989
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Brandeis University, 1988
  • Nathan and Bertha Richter Award, Brandeis University, 1988
  • Elihu A. Silver Prize, Brandeis University, 1988
  • CRC Press Freshman Chemistry Achievement Award, Brandeis University, 1986
  • Justice Brandeis Scholar, Brandeis University, 1985 - 1989
  • Sterling Winthrop Research Fellow in Health Sciences and Technology, Harvard Medical School, 1992 - 1993
  • M.D.-Ph.D. Program, Harvard Medical School, 1989 - 1995
  • Kimmel Scholar, Sidney Kimmel Foundation for Cancer Research, 2005 - 2007
  • Scholar, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society , 2011 - 2016
  • Scholar, American Cancer Society Research , 2006 - 2011
  • Scholar, Rita Allen Foundation , 2006 - 2009
  • Special Fellow, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, 2000 - 2003
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Helen Hay Whitney Foundation, 1997 - 2000
  • Discovery Innovation Award, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2017


  • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • American Society for Microbiology
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