The Laserson Lab develops high-throughput, data-intensive assays for studying the adaptive immune system. We use next-generation sequencing, large scale DNA synthesis, and protein display technologies to understand how the immune system interacts with its environment by measuring the specificities of antibodies and T cell receptors in parallel. Application areas include gut-immune interaction, personalized immunotherapy, and therapeutic antibody discovery.
You will be a founding member of the lab. Together with the PI, you will be responsible for defining your research plan and executing it. Some example projects we currently or plan to work on include:
The function of secretory IgA (sIgA). We will build and use phage display libraries to identify the specific antigen targets of secretory IgA. This will allow us to better understand the role of sIgA in regulating the gut microbiota and understanding dysbiosis (e.g., during inflammatory bowel disease). We will also use this technique to elucidate the role of sIgA in mediating antiviral immunity.
Autoantigen discovery. We are interested in identifying the culprit antigens in several autoimmune diseases that have autoantibodies with poorly characterized antigens, such as rheumatic heart disease, neuromyelitis optica, among others. We will screen the sera of patients using the human peptide PhIP-seq library.
Simultaneous measurement of antibodies with their antigens. We are developing methods for simultaneously sequencing paired heavy/light chains from B cells along with the corresponding antigen.
Measuring TCR peptide specificities. We are interested in developing methods for high-throughput measurement of the peptide specificities of a collection of T cells. For example, when giving cancer patients personalized vaccines, we want to be able to understand which particular epitopes are responsible for effective responses to the tumor cells.
We are most interested in the assay development, and will consider other areas of interest for studying the adaptive immune system. Because the lab is new, you will have the opportunity to help build out a new research lab and will also be instrumental in defining the lab culture. You can also assist in training/mentoring graduate students.