Immunology & Inflammatory Diseases

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Thorsten R. Mempel, MD, PhD

The Mempel Laboratory investigates cell migration and intercellular communction in the adaptive immune system through direct dynamic in vivo visualization of immune cell behavior using multiphoton intravital microscopy in mice.

Principal Investigator, Center for Immunology and Inflammatory Diseases, Massachusetts General Hospital

Assistant Immunologist, Massachusetts General Hospital

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Associate Member, MGH Center for Systems Biology

Associate Investigator, MGH Center for the Study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

 

T lymphocytes are part of the adaptive immune system. They are powerful players in the defense against infection and can be effective against tumors, but they are also involved in autoimmune responses, leading to diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, or multiple sclerosis.

T cell responses arise from clonal expansion of a small number of naïve precursors through antigenic priming by dendritic cells in secondary lymphoid organs, such as lymph nodes and the spleen. Once these naïve T cells have differentiated to effector T cells, they migrate to the blood, from where they are recruited to peripheral tissues to combat disease.

To prevent attacks on healthy tissues, the execution of T cell effector functions is tightly linked to the recognition of cognate antigen. In addition, immune responses are regulated through diverse inhibitory and stimulatory signals that T cells encounter in peripheral tissues. Dr. Mempel's lab is seeking to understand how the function of T cells is regulated through their interaction with other cells, structural tissue components and soluble mediators that they encounter in tissues. Their main approach to this end is direct dynamic in vivo visualization of immune processes at cellular and subcellular resolution in living mice, using multiphoton intravital microscopy.

Principal Investigator:

  • Thorsten Mempel, MD, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellows:

  • Esteban Carrizosa, PhD
  • Edward Kim, PhD
  • Francesco Marangoni, PhD
  • Thomas Murooka, PhD

Technician:

  • Natalie Elpek, BS

  • Mechanisms of cytotoxic T cell-mediated tumor rejection
  • Local regulation of T effector cell function by T regulatory cells
  • Interplay of T regulatory cells and tumor-associated myeloid cells
  • Early events of viral spread in a humanized mouse model of HIV infection

 

Collaborative projects:

  • Role of IP-10 chemokine in T cell migration (with Luster Lab)
  • Function of microglia in Alzheimer’s disease (with El Khoury Lab)
  • Self-renewal of cancer stem cells (with Langenau Lab)

 

Mempel Laboratory

CNY 149-6
149 13th Street
Charlestown, MA 02129

Phone: 617-724-4596
Fax: 617-726-5651
Email: tmempel@mgh.harvard.edu
Hours: Mon-Fri 8:30am-5pm

Public Transportation Access: yes
Disabled Access: yes