Waters, Lynnea R. (2013 - 2016)

Lynnea is in the Molecular Biology IDP.  She joined the training program in 2013.  Her research mentor is Dr. Michael Teitell.  She received a B.S. degree in 2012 from CSU Northridge.

Mentor: Dr. Michael Teitell

Research project:

B lymphocytes are an important component of the adaptive immune response, both by producing a vast repertoire of secreted, neutralizing antibodies and by differentiating into memory B cells that are able to quickly respond to antigens that have been previously encountered. Previously, the Teitell lab identified a signaling pathway that is necessary to complete plasma cell differentiation. We generated a B cell lineage-specific knockout (BKO) of a central kinase in this pathway, Lkb1, to interrupt this signaling pathway and our findings suggest a “gatekeeper” role for Lkb1 that prevents B cell activation. Because of the multifunctional nature of Lkb1, we are investigating the mechanism(s) by which Lkb1 prevents premature B cell activation by exploring two leading possibilities: 1) Lkb1 as a regulator of the cytoskeleton and 2) Lkb1 as a regulator of cell metabolism. These studies will help to elucidate the role of Lkb1 in B cell activation, as well as the links between cell metabolism, cytoskeletal rearrangement and B cell activation, which may provide targets for either a) limiting B cell activation, as would be desired for treatment of lymphoma or autoimmune diseases, or b) enhancing B cell responses to antigen during vaccination.