Human immune disorders caused by inherited mutations in PI3K genes
Carrie Lucas is a senior postdoctoral research fellow in the lab of Dr. Michael Lenardo, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH. She obtained her Ph.D. in immunology from Harvard Medical School. Her broad research interest is to elucidate the mechanistic basis of human diseases of the immune system using genomics, cell biology, and biochemistry. Her research has focused initially on a cohort of patients suffering from congenital immunodeficiency and lymphoproliferative disease in which heterozygous, activating mutations in the gene encoding p110d PI3K lead to terminal differentiation and senescence of CD8 T cells. Subsequent work identified and characterized patients with a similar disorder who harbor heterozygous splice site mutations in the gene encoding the regulatory p85a PI3K protein. Her current focus is on novel PI3K gene mutations in patients with immune dysregulation as well as analyses of PI3K, TCR, and caspase signaling in promoting cell death of activated human T cells after TCR re-stimulation.