Lewis Lanier, PhD
|School||UCSF School of Medicine|
|Department||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Address||Core Campus, HSE|
San Francisco CA 94143
|Title||Chair, Microbiology and Immunology|
|University of California San Francisco||2013||J. Michael Bishop MD Distinguished Professor|
|University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill||2013||Distinguished UNC Alumnus Award|
|American Academy of Arts and Sciences||2011||Member|
|University of California San Francisco||2011||Faculty Research Lecture - Basic Science|
|American Academy of Microbiology||2011||Fellow|
|National Academy of Sciences||2010||Member|
|American Association of Immunologists||2006
|American Society for Histocompatibility & Immunogenetics||2005||Rose Payne Award|
|American Cancer Society||2003||Research Professor|
|Cancer Research Institute||2002||William B Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic and Tumor |
|American Association of Immunologists ||2001||Distinguished Service Award|
|Becton Dickinson||1990||Research Fellow|
|Damon Runyon - Walter Winchell Cancer Fund||1979
Natural killer cells are a class of lymphocyte that recognize and eliminate tumors and cells that are infected with microbial pathogens. The major focus of our laboratory is to determine how this process works. Specifically, we seek to identify the receptors on the cell surface of NK cells that enable these immune cells to interact with abnormal cells and to define the nature of the ligands detected by these receptors. Recently, we have discovered two types of transmembrane adapter proteins expressed by cytotoxic T lymphocytes, natural killer (NK) cells and myeloid cells that activate these cells when their associated membrane receptors bind to ligands. One group of these adaptor proteins is characterized by immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motifs (ITAM) in their cytoplasmic domains that recruit and activate the Syk and ZAP70 protein tyrosine kinase pathway. This adapter protein family includes FceRIg, the CD3z, and DAP12. These ITAM-bearing adapters provide signaling for several distinct membrane receptors, some of which interact with ligands on virus-infected or tumor cells and activate the effector cells to produce cytokines and to kill the targets. The second type of adapter is DAP10, a transmembrane adapter protein that contains a YxxM motif in its cytoplasmic domain, which recruits and activates the PI3-kinase pathway. DAP10 is associated with the NKG2D cell surface receptor that is expressed on all CD8+ T cells, NK cells, gd-TcR T cells, and activated macrophages. NKG2D recognizes proteins encoded by the human MIC and mouse Rae-1 genes that are usually silent in normal adult tissues, but are induced by stress or viral infection. These genes are also frequently over-expressed on tumors. The overall goal of our research program is to define the immune mechanisms involved in the recognition and destruction of pathogen-infected cells and tumors.
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