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Amy O'Connell, M.D.,Ph.D.


Merrimack College, North Andover, MAB.S.2002Biochemistry
Jefferson Medical College/Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PAM.D./Ph.D.2009Immunology
University of Vermont, Burlington, VTResidency2012Pediatrics
Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MAFellowship2014Allergy/Immunology
Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MAFellowship2017Neonatology

Dr. O'Connell has a history of research in immunology and the molecular characterization of oprhan diseases. Her current projects include:
1. Determining the importance of Wnt2b for intestinal health
2. Examining the role of cellular and molecular developmental changes of the intestine in susceptibility to necrotizing enterocolitis.
3. Assessing whether immune receptor repertoire analysis can improve immunodeficiency screening in premature infants.

Available: 10/15/20, Expires: 06/30/21

This project could be 4mos-1yr depending on the needs of the student. My lab is investigating early intestinal development, and we think that fluctuations in the level of Wnt2b-secreting intestinal cells may correlate with the development of the deadly intestinal disease necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in premature babies. No prior wet lab experience is necessary, but willingness to work with mouse models is preferred. The project can be somewhat tailored to the student but would involve either cell culture or models of intestinal injury in young mice.

Available: 03/01/21, Expires: 06/30/21

This project involves using bioinformatics approaches to process T cell receptor repertoire sequencing data from premature infants and control neonates. We are looking at two questions with this dataset: 1. whether a subset of extremely premature infants develops abnormal T cell diversity and 2. whether T cell receptor repertoire sequencing can be used to improve newborn screening for severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID).

Interested students could spend 3 months on this project. Previous knowledge of programming in R is required. Good potential for a first author publication.

The research activities and funding listed below are automatically derived from NIH ExPORTER and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing items. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
  1. (O'Connell) Jul 1, 2020 - Jun 30, 2022
    Manton Center for Orphan Disease Research Innovation Fund
    Primary and Secondary Immunodeficiency Disorders in Extremely Premature Infants
    Role Description: Assessing a test to increase specificity of SCID newborn screening in extremely premature infants and characterizing a novel immune disorder in premature infants.
  2. (O'Connell) Jul 1, 2020 - Jun 30, 2022
    Boston Children's Hospital Office of Faculty Development
    Wnt2b in Susceptibility to Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)
    Role Description: Examining whether Wnt2b-producing telocytes are protective against NEC
  3. PA-19-117 (O'Connell) Jan 11, 2020 - Dec 31, 2024
    The Role of Wnt2b in Small Intestinal Health
    Role Description: Determining why Wnt2b is required for human intestinal health.
  4. KL2/CMeRIT (O'Connell) Oct 1, 2017 - Sep 30, 2019
    Harvard Catalyst
    Wnt2b in Intestinal Homeostasis
    Role Description: The goal of this project is to clarify the requirement for Wnt2b in intestinal homeostasis in humans. We hypothesize that absence of Wnt2b leads to decreased transcription of beta-catenin target genes, resulting in a diminished crypt-based columnar intestinal stem cell (CBC iSC) pool and inflammatory dysregulation.
    Role: Primary Investigator

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
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PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
  1. O'Connell AE, Guseh S, Lapteva L, Cummings CL, Wilkins-Haug L, Chan J, Peranteau WH, Almeida-Porada G, Kourembanas S. Gene and Stem Cell Therapies for Fetal Care: A Review. JAMA Pediatr. 2020 Oct 01; 174(10):985-991. PMID: 32597943.
    Citations:    Fields:    
  2. Frazer LC, O'Connell AE. Primary immunodeficiency testing in a Massachusetts tertiary care NICU: persistent challenges in the extremely premature population. Pediatr Res. 2020 Apr 08. PMID: 32268342.
    Citations:    Fields:    
  3. Maciag MC, Ward SL, O'Connell AE, Broyles AD. Hypersensitivity to tetracyclines: Skin testing, graded challenge, and desensitization regimens. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2020 06; 124(6):589-593. PMID: 32087343.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
  4. Lekbua A, Ouahed J, O'Connell AE, Kahn SA, Goldsmith JD, Imamura T, Duncan CN, Kelsen JR, Worthey E, Snapper SB, Softic S. Risk-factors Associated With Poor Outcomes in VEO-IBD Secondary to XIAP Deficiency: A Case Report and Literature Review. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2019 07; 69(1):e13-e18. PMID: 31232887.
    Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  5. O'Connell AE. Primary Immunodeficiency in the NICU. Neoreviews. 2019 02; 20(2):e67-e78. PMID: 31261087.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
  6. O'Connell AE, Gerashchenko MV, O'Donohue MF, Rosen SM, Huntzinger E, Gleeson D, Galli A, Ryder E, Cao S, Murphy Q, Kazerounian S, Morton SU, Schmitz-Abe K, Gladyshev VN, Gleizes PE, Séraphin B, Agrawal PB. Mammalian Hbs1L deficiency causes congenital anomalies and developmental delay associated with Pelota depletion and 80S monosome accumulation. PLoS Genet. 2019 02; 15(2):e1007917. PMID: 30707697.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
  7. Nelson RW, O'Connell AE, Alroqi F, Kawai K, Young MC, Broyles AD. Duplicate skin prick testing in the assessment of food allergy. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2019 Feb; 7(2):675-677. PMID: 30075343.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
  8. O'Connell AE, Zhou F, Shah MS, Murphy Q, Rickner H, Kelsen J, Boyle J, Doyle JJ, Gangwani B, Thiagarajah JR, Kamin DS, Goldsmith JD, Richmond C, Breault DT, Agrawal PB. Neonatal-Onset Chronic Diarrhea Caused by Homozygous Nonsense WNT2B Mutations. Am J Hum Genet. 2018 07 05; 103(1):131-137. PMID: 29909964.
    Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
  9. O’Connell AE, Mulla BM, O’Brien K, Yoon EJ, Carterson A, Brodsky D. NeoReviews. Perinatal Transient Myeloproliferative Disorder in Trisomy 21. 2016; 17(11):e636-e644. View Publication.
  10. O'Connell AE, Volpi S, Dobbs K, Fiorini C, Tsitsikov E, de Boer H, Barlan IB, Despotovic JM, Espinosa-Rosales FJ, Hanson IC, Kanariou MG, Martínez-Beckerat R, Mayorga-Sirera A, Mejia-Carvajal C, Radwan N, Weiss AR, Pai SY, Lee YN, Notarangelo LD. Next generation sequencing reveals skewing of the T and B cell receptor repertoires in patients with wiskott-Aldrich syndrome. Front Immunol. 2014; 5:340. PMID: 25101082.
    Citations: 20     Fields:    
  11. De Ravin SS, Parta M, Sutton DA, Wickes BL, Thompson EH, Wiederhold NP, Nakasone KK, Alimchandani M, OConnell A, Notarangelo L, Kang E, Malech HL, Zelazny AM. Paravertebral mushroom: identification of a novel species of Phellinus as a human pathogen in chronic granulomatous disease. J Clin Microbiol. 2014 Jul; 52(7):2726-9. PMID: 24829241.
    Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
  12. O'Connell AE, Lee JP, Yee C, Kesselheim J, Dioun A. Successful desensitization to brentuximab vedotin after anaphylaxis. Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk. 2014 Apr; 14(2):e73-5. PMID: 24373790.
    Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  13. Bonne-Année S, Kerepesi LA, Hess JA, O'Connell AE, Lok JB, Nolan TJ, Abraham D. Human and mouse macrophages collaborate with neutrophils to kill larval Strongyloides stercoralis. Infect Immun. 2013 Sep; 81(9):3346-55. PMID: 23798541.
    Citations: 28     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
  14. O'Connell AE, Hess JA, Santiago GA, Nolan TJ, Lok JB, Lee JJ, Abraham D. Major basic protein from eosinophils and myeloperoxidase from neutrophils are required for protective immunity to Strongyloides stercoralis in mice. Infect Immun. 2011 Jul; 79(7):2770-8. PMID: 21482685.
    Citations: 38     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  15. O'Connell AE, Redding KM, Hess JA, Lok JB, Nolan TJ, Abraham D. Soluble extract from the nematode Strongyloides stercoralis induces CXCR2 dependent/IL-17 independent neutrophil recruitment. Microbes Infect. 2011 Jun; 13(6):536-44. PMID: 21315175.
    Citations: 11     Fields:    Translation:Animals
  16. O'Connell AE, Kerepesi LA, Vandergrift GL, Herbert DR, VAN Winkle TJ, Hooper DC, Pearce EJ, Abraham D. IL-4(-/-) mice with lethal Mesocestoides corti infections--reduced Th2 cytokines and alternatively activated macrophages. Parasite Immunol. 2009 Dec; 31(12):741-9. PMID: 19891612.
    Citations: 5     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
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Funded by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through its Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program, grant number UL1TR002541.