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Justin Glenn

Class 2010
Education BA, Vanderbilt University

Dr. Katie Whartenby

Current Position Postdoctoral Fellow

Johns Hopkins University

Research Interests

The Role of CD8+ T cells in Central Nervous System Autoimmune Disease

CD8+ T lymphocytes are situated in the cellular branch of immunity and play important roles in the elimination of cancer cells and intracellular pathogens, such as viruses. However, in autoimmune disease, CD8+ T cells inappropriately recognize and damage self-tissue. In the case of the central nervous system, one common autoimmune disease is multiple sclerosis (MS). MS is a neuroinflammatory autoimmune disease in which the immune response is mobilized against the axon-wrapping myelin sheath, leading to myelin loss, axon degeneration and loss, and progressive paralysis. Though multiple cell types and inflammatory molecules are thought to contribute to MS pathogenesis, the involvement of CD8+ T cells has been largely understudied, despite the ubiquity of activated, auto-reactive CD8+ T cells in MS lesions of patients. My investigations center on better understanding the development of pathogenic CD8+ T cells at the transcriptional level, using in the murine model of MS, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE).