Frederick AltChildren's Hospital Boston, Immune Disease Institute, Department of Medicine, HHMI/Children's Hospital Boston/Harvard Medical School/ Immune Disease Institute, USA F1000 Head of Faculty (since 01 November 2001)
BIOGRAPHYStudies in the Alt laboratory broadly focus on the areas of developmental immunology and cancer. Studies aimed at defining molecular aspects of lymphocyte differentiation focus on the mechanism and control of V(D)J recombination, the mechanism and control of immunoglobulin heavy chain class switch recombination, and elucidation of signaling pathways that effect early B and T cell differentiation. Studies in other areas include elucidation of mechanisms of DNA double strand break repair and studies of the function of the Myc family of cellular oncogenes. The approaches employed by the laboratory range from basic molecular genetics and biochemistry to gene-targeted mutation and the generation of novel animal-based approaches and models. In the latter context, the laboratory has generated numerous mutant mouse lines including models for diseases ranging from immunodeficiencies to cancer. Some of the most recent work focuses on the interplay between site-directed recombination, DNA end-joining, and cell cycle/cell death pathways in lymphogenesis, neurogenesis, genomic stability, and cancer.
Immunity and stability in the human genome.
Professor Alt talks to us about his lab’s research into two specific areas: the development of T- and B-lymphocytes, in particular the assembly of the genes encoding their antigen receptors, and the mechanisms behind the overall stability of the genome – and how these two fields of study intersect at an important area of human disease [video uploaded 16 May 2013].
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