Mark Joseph Mamula PhD
Professor of Medicine (Rheumatology)
Current ProjectsDr. Mamula is studying how, in lupus, the body targets itself for attack by its own immune system. Identifying the mechanisms that initiate this process can then help in devising an intervention that will stop this self-destructive cascade.
The immune system maintains a delicate balance in its ability to recognize and eliminate foreign pathogens versus its ability to be tolerant of self tissues. Dr. Mamula has had a long standing interest in investigating the early events involved with the induction of autoimmunity. It is the goal of Dr. Mamula's laboratory to understand the mechanisms that may shift this balance toward the initiation of autoimmune responses. In particular, his efforts have centered on the molecular interactions of autoimmune B and T lymphocyte responses to intracellular autoantigens in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). His laboratory is also interested in determining the forms of autoantigens capable of breaking immunologic tolerance, the processing of these autoantigens, and understanding the role of autoreactive T cells in autoimmune diseases such as lupus and diabetes. More recently, Dr. Mamula has also been applying some his studies towards developing “autoimmune” responses against tumor tissues, in particular, models of melanoma and breast cancer. These latter studies have evolved into novel approaches for the design of therapeutic tumor vaccines.