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As B cell immunologists, we are interested in diseases caused by "B cells gone bad" such as B cell lymphoma and multiple sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis (MS) results from autoimmune-mediated damage to the central nervous system (CNS). Evidence is accumulating for B cell involvement in MS pathology and Ocrelizumab (Oc), approved for MS in 2017, depletes B cells from circulation. We conducted flow cytometry to support Phase 3 trials of patients with relapsing MS, which found patients treated with Oc patients to have significantly lower disability progression at either 12 or 24 weeks was significantly lower for patients treated with Oc. These and many other data indicate that B cells play a role in the immune system-mediated damage to the CNS in MS. We are investigating 1) biomarker analysis using flow cytometry to measure B cell subsets as a way to understand heterogeneity of patient immune dysfunction and response to treatment, and 2) antibody repertoire of MS patients.
 
We are interested in welcoming medical students as short term investigators; please contact Dr Gerstein for more information.