2016 Eberly Distinguished Lectureship in Immunology
Ann Marshak-Rothstein, PhD, professor of rheumatology in the Department of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, will be the first speaker in the 2017 Eberly Distinguished Lectureship in Immunology series. Her talk, “SLE to the Toll-Gate and into the Fas Lane,” will be presented at noon on Thursday, March 2, in Lecture Room 6, Scaife Hall.
Marshak-Rothstein investigates systemic autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus and scleroderma. She focuses on factors that regulate T and B lymphocyte activation, function, longevity, and apoptosis in animal models of systemic autoimmune diseases, as well as the involvement of the regulatory functions of Fas-ligand. She and colleagues published the finding that toll-like receptors (TLR) could have a crucial role in lupus by activating the immune system to attack the body. In 2002, Marshak-Rothstein revealed that the activation of rheumatoid factor B cells engaged both IgM and toll-like receptors, a finding that has sparked the development and testing of innate immune-targeted therapies in systemic autoimmune diseases. Since then, her lab has elucidated the mechanisms by which TLRs promote disease and B-cell activation. Most recently, Marshak-Rothstein has generated a mouse model of cutaneous lupus to explore lupus “flares” and TLRs’ roles in regulating tissue damage.
Marshak-Rothstein earned her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1977 before completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has received numerous awards, including the 2016 Lupus Insight Prize, a collaborative initiative among the Alliance for Lupus Research, the Lupus Foundation of America, and the Lupus Research Institute. She has also received the Lupus Research Institute Distinguished Innovator Award, and the American Cancer Society Junior Faculty Research Award.The Eberly Distinguished Lectureship in Immunology was established in 2011 by the Department of Immunology and the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute to recognize the generous support of the Robert E. Eberly Family and to showcase the research of prominent leaders in the field of immunology.