My research interests have centered around immunology and molecular biology. In graduate school at Brandeis University, I cloned and studied the transporter protein, called FcRn, that carries
IgG antibodies across the human placenta under Dr. Neil E. Simister.
Subsequent to my graduate work, new roles of FcRn have been discovered including extending the serum half-life of albumin as well as IgG antibody.
My postdoctoral work was under Dr. Hidde L. Ploegh at MIT and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Ploegh is currently at the Whitehead Institute back at MIT. I rejoined research group for my Fall '06 Sabbatical. The lab continues to study aspects of immune function from a molecular and biochemical approach. During this sabbatical I worked closely with Dr. J. Christopher Love, helping to optimize a new system for analyzing the secretions of individual cells within a diverse population. Results of my work on the microengraving system with the Ploegh and Love labs were published in PNAS, Nature Protocols, and Journal of Immunological Methods. In Fall 2011, I spent sabbatical time working in Chris Love's new lab in the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT. I continue to develop the microengraving platform as a tool for use in immunological studies at Gordon College, in collaboration with the Love lab. A second project I continue working on with the Love lab involves developing an expression system for expressing cloned antibody heavy and light chains more efficiently. This would allow, for example, the cloning and expression of a "polyclonal" serum based on cloning and expression of multiple paired antibody genes isolated directly from single cells isolated by microengraving. Given enough cells, with this method the antibody response of a patient after vaccination or during response to illness could be replicated in vitro.
I have worked closely over the years with Dr. Alynne MacLean of Science With A
Mission to develop monoclonal antibodies useful for disease diagnostics. I also have an interest in the unusual disease known as podoconiosis.