Alexander Lloyd Dent
- : (317) 274-7524
- DEPARTMENTDepartment of Microbiology & Immunology
Indiana University School of Medicine
I have an extensive background in molecular and cellular immunology. As a post-doctoral fellow at the NIH, I developed BCL6-deficient mice, and in 1997, I published the first description of BCL6-deficient mice. These mice have been shared with the immunologic community and have subsequently led to a large number of high profile publications elucidating the role of BCL6 in B cell, T cell and macrophage function. I am extremely interested in understanding the control of immune responses by the transcriptional repressor BCL6, and particularly the role of BCL6 in follicular helper T (Tfh) cells, a T helper subclass that is required for high affinity antibody production mechanism for how BCL6 controls this T cell subset is still poorly understood. BCL6 also controls the development of follicular repressor T cells, which repress Tfh cells and germinal centers. We have recently developed a novel conditional knockout mouse for BCL6, which will greatly facilitate the analysis of BCL6 in specific cell types. Our preliminary data with these mice indicates that the current models for the role of BCL6 in CD4 T cells are insufficient to explain the control of Tfh differentiation and Tfh function by BCL6. Understanding this regulation is crucial for any rational drug design strategy to modulate Tfh cell activity, both in disease and in vaccine. Recent work has identified BCL6 as a master controlling transcription factor for Tfh cells, yet the settings.