Thomas Rothstein, MD, PhD

The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, NY

2007 B Cells
2011 Human Lupus Biology
2012 B Cells

An Alternate BCR Signaling Pathway to Autoimmunity

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

Dr. Rothstein aims to discover what triggers B lymphocytes to produce autoantibodies (self-directed antibodies) in lupus.

Having recently found that activated B cells make the hormone-like molecule osteopontin, he suspects this may be what instigates or maintains the destructive production of autoantibodies in lupus. If correct, he will have identified a brand new pathway for the development of lupus, and opened the door to the development of targeted new therapies.

Note: Upon receiving an overlapping grant from the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Rothstein terminated his grant with the LRI after just several months of work.