Yan GE

Principal Investigator, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology China Regional Research Centre: Taizhou, Jiangsu Province, CHINA

Genetic risk factors shared by multiple distinct autoimmune diseases

Host: Marcello

Autoimmune diseases are a group of related disorders where one’s immune system attacks and damages one’s own tissues. Both genetic and environmental factors contribute to autoimmune disease. Genome- wide association (GWAS) and fine-mapping studies have identified a large number of risk loci for common autoimmune diseases in humans. However, the disease-causal variants and genes still remain largely unknown, and little is known about the interplay and joint action of these genetic risk loci in autoimmune disease. To tackle these major challenges and gain a holistic understanding of disease pathogenesis, we have investigated two independent risk loci that are shared by multiple distinct autoimmune diseases: UBASH3A and PTPN22. In this presentation, I will show our findings on (1) novel mechanisms of UBASH3A and its genetic variants in human T cells and autoimmunity, and (2) previously unknown interactions, both biochemical and statistical, between UBASH3A and PTPN22. These mechanistic insights have enabled us to develop new therapeutic strategies for autoimmune disease.

Biosketch

Dr. Yan Ge obtained her PhD and Master of Public Health degrees from the University of Virginia, USA. Since 2003, she has been studying the genetic and immunological causes of autoimmune disease. Her PhD thesis work uncovered new genetic determinants underlying clinical traits of systemic lupus erythematosus (a common autoimmune disease) in a mouse model. As a postdoc at the University of Florida (UF), USA, Dr. Ge identified novel genetic risk factors and molecular mechanisms underpinning autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes (another common autoimmune disease) in humans. In September 2022, she joined the ICGEB China Regional Research Centre as a Principal Investigator. Before joining ICGEB, she was an independent research faculty member at UF. Currently, Dr. Ge’s laboratory employs multidisciplinary approaches to elucidate the molecular networks underlying autoimmune response and specific clinical traits of autoimmune disease in humans, and leverages these new insights to develop better preventive and therapeutic strategies for autoimmune disease.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2129-9438

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