The immune system is tightly controlled to fight infections and tumors, but ignore its own tissues and organs. How these needs are kept in balance is of central importance to human health. Immune dysregulation can give rise to infections, cancer, and autoimmune disease. My lab is interested in understanding the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms that control immune regulation. We study monogenic autoimmunity syndromes like Autoimmune Polyendocrinopathy Syndrome Type 1 (APS1 or APECED) to understand how genetic lesions can break self-tolerance. We have also identified UTX (KDM6a) as an epigenetic regulator that is deficient in Turner Syndrome and underlies immune dysregulation in this condition. Finally, we are developing ways to harness the autoimmune response and direct it against cancer. Together, our studies have led to the identification and development of potential new therapies for autoimmunity and cancer.
Maureen A. Su, MD