Leadership and Key Members
Randolph Wall, Ph.D.
Dr. Randolph Wall's research focuses on genes and mechanisms controlling B-lymphocyte development.
The stages in B-lymphocyte development are delineated by the activation and transcription of immunoglobulin genes and other tissue-specific genes. Research in Dr. Wall's laboratory is specifically directed at discovering the molecular mechanisms which control B-cell development by the cloning of B-cell-specific genes and the characterization of their function and regulation. The best studied B-cell-specific gene identified here (B29) codes for a critical member of the antigen receptor complex on B-cells and is essential for B-cell activation and development. Transcription factors shown to control the B29 promoter are now known to regulate the appearance of the earliest committed lymphoid precursor cells. B29 expression is critical for development of the earliest B-lineage precursors (i.e., pro-B and pre-B cells). Aberrant expression of the B29 gene is implicated in human chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL).
Another area of research in the Wall lab is directed at resolving the cytokines, signaling events and transcription factors which activate and control immunoglobulin gene expression in B-cell development. This research uses the combined approaches of molecular biology, immunology and genetics.