Loren Erickson, PhD

University of Virginia, VA

2007 B Cells

Loren Erickson, PhDThe body’s B cells, or B lymphocytes, mature in the bone marrow. When stimulated by an antigen, they develop into cells that make antibodies. Over the past few years, evidence has been growing that they play a central role in the cause and development of lupus by making antibodies to the body’s own DNA.

Erickson notes that mice with lupus carry a gene that makes B cells produce autoantibodies. But while scientists know roughly where to find the gene on the “map,” they haven’t identified it yet and don’t know how it causes B cells to turn and attack the body.

In this novel study—the Role of Nba2 in Plasma Cell Differentiation—Erikson aims to find out.