Harvard Catalyst Profiles

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Duane Wesemann, M.D., Ph.D.

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2008 - 2008
Outstanding Fellow Award for excellence in teaching
2009 - 2010
AAAAI-GSK Career Development Award
2010 - 2011
AAAAI-Baxter Career Development Award
2011 - 2013
Young Investigator Award in Primary Immune Deficiency
2011 - 2016
Burroughs Wellcome Career Award for Medical Scientists
2013 - 2015
Young Investigator Award in Mucosal Immunity
2015 - 2017
FARE New Investigator Award
Sir William Osler Young Investigator Award

A diverse repertoire of immunoglobulins (antibodies) is required to build effective immunity against a vast array of infectious threats. However, expanded immunoglobulin diversity raises the risk of generating antibodies directed against self or otherwise innocuous environmental components, which can lead to autoimmune and allergic disorders, respectively. Our lab studies the process of primary immunoglobulin repertoire diversification and how environmental factors, such as commensal microbes and diet, may influence the structure and depth of this diversity. We are particularly interested in how exposures early in life may shape this process. As we work to identify principles regulating the host:environment interactions that modulate the immune system, we seek to deepen our understanding of how this may impact the development of immunity to infection and efficacy of vaccination. In addition, we are undertaking innovative approaches to uncover therapeutic targets for the treatment of allergic disorders such as food allergies and asthma. Please visit the wesemann lab website.

Available: 10/26/20, Expires: 10/31/25

The Wesemann laboratory, located in the longwood medical area, uses mouse genetics, human studies, cellular biology, single cell transcriptomics, and computation to elucidate the underlying features and elasticity of antibody recognition capacity. We study the dynamic regulation, functional significance, and evolutionary implications/origins of the anticipatory naïve antibody repertoire and its somatically evolving counterpart in germinal centers. Both bench-side as well as computational opportunities are available for students to complete scholarly projects on deciphering features connected to the type and quality of antibody responses.

Current projects include longitudinal analysis of immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection as well as responses to COVID-19 vaccines in plasma and cell samples collected by and stored in the Wesemann lab. Bench projects will require some experience with pipetting, ELISAs, cell culture, PCR, and flow cytometry. Computational projects will require some familiarity processing data through tools available at the National Center for Biotechnology Information and the Protein Data Bank with code writing experience in languages such as R. Both in-person and remote projects are available. Both short (4-6 month) and long-term (greater than 6 months) projects are available.

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. R01AI169619 (WESEMANN, DUANE R.) Sep 17, 2021 - Aug 31, 2026
    Flipped Germinal Centers
    Role: Principal Investigator
  2. P01AI165072 (WESEMANN, DUANE R.) Sep 16, 2021 - Aug 31, 2024
    Discovering Durable Pan-Coronavirus Immunity
    Role: Principal Investigator
  3. R56AI158811 (WESEMANN, DUANE R.) Jul 1, 2021 - Jun 30, 2022
    Understanding IgE Biology
    Role: Principal Investigator
  4. R01AI139538 (WESEMANN, DUANE R.) Mar 20, 2019 - Feb 28, 2023
    Elucidating Germinal Center-Mediated Antibody Evolution
    Role: Principal Investigator
  5. R21AI137940 (WESEMANN, DUANE R.) May 22, 2018 - Apr 30, 2021
    Exploring the Role of IgA in Human Immune Homeostasis
    Role: Principal 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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Funded by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through its Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program, grant number UL1TR002541.