PhD, Brandeis University, 1991
Developmental regulation of V(D)J recombination and B cell development.
Mammals start generating B lymphocytes during fetal development and continue to do so throughout life. My lab is interested in what controls the initiation of antibody gene rearrangement during B cell development. In order to pin-point when progenitors have acquired the ability to rearrange antibody genes, we are using a novel retroviral substrate assay for V(D)J recombination, utilizing very bright mutants of Green fluorescent protein (GFP). In addition, the generation of two GFP mutants with distinct excitation optima allows for detection of two distinct GFP genes within single cells.1 V(D)J recombination and the activity of genes of interest (using GFP as a reporter of gene expression) can be detected as intracellular fluorescence and are measured simultaneously in the same cell population, at the single cell level. We are using this dual reporter system to ask what are the molecules and mechanisms controlling the developmental activation of V(D)J recombination. In addition, my lab studies the process of developmental committment to the B cell lineages, using 7-color flow cytometry on a state-of-the-art 3 laser FACS.
1 Anderson, M.T., etal. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 93:8508-8511.