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Meet Our Team | Overview

Michael Carroll, PhD

Michael Carroll, PhD

Senior Investigator, Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine

Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School


Dr. Michael Carroll received his Ph.D. in Immunology from the UT Southwestern Medical School (Dallas, TX) under the direction of Dr. J. Donald Capra; subsequently, he trained with Dr. Rodney R. Porter in the Biochemistry Department, Oxford U (Oxford UK). In 1985, he was appointed an Assistant Professor in Pediatrics and the Department of Biological Chemistry at the Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School. He was promoted in 1998 to the rank of Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School and Senior Investigator, Boston Children’s Hospital, Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine.

Dr. Carroll served as Director of the Harvard Graduate Program in Immunology from 2005 – 2016.  Early in his career, he was an American Arthritis Foundation Fellow and Investigator and later a recipient of a Pew Scholar award. He is a recipient of the 2016 Research Award by National Alliance for Mental Health.

A major focus of his research is understanding how autoreactive germinal centers are regulated; and how peripheral autoimmunity can affect neuropsychiatric behavior.  Moreover, his research includes understanding how changes in the regulation of the complement system in the brain can underlie diseases such as schizophrenia.

Staff

Elisabeth Carroll, PharmD Elisabeth Carroll, PharmD
DPharm University Paul Sabatier Toulouse, France 
Administrative Assistant /Lab Manager/Senior Research Associate
Email: Elisabeth.carroll@childrens.harvard.edu 
Alpert Building, 617.713.8714 

 

Postdoctoral Fellows 

Carlos Castrillon, PhD

Carlos Castrillon, PhD
PhD in Life Sciences from Universite Paris Diderot, France
Email: carlos.castrillon@childrens.harvard.edu

During the immune and autoimmune responses, B cells in the germinal center undergo clonal expansion, mutation and selection by interacting with stromal cells and T cells. Germinal center B cells are selected by their capacity to bind foreign or self-antigens.
I’m interested in studying how much of the diversity of germinal center B cells translates into effective memory B cells and antibody-secreting plasma cells.

Uli Herrmann, MD, PhD

Uli Herrmann, MD, PhD
MD, University of Bern, Switzerland, PhD in Molecular Life Sciences, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Pediatrics (Swiss Board Certification)
Email: uli.herrmann@childrens.harvard.edu

I am very interested in understanding the role of the immune microenvironment in neuropsychiatric disorders such as neuropsychiatric lupus and schizophrenia.

Kristine Oleinika, PhD

Kristine Oleinika, PhD
PhD in Immunology, University College London (UCL)
Email: kristine.oleinika@childrens.harvard.edu

Activated B cells can participate in the extrafollicular or the germinal centre response, which differ in their functional output. I am interested in understanding the molecular cues and cellular interactions that guide B cell fate decisions following activation. It remains unclear to what extent overlap exists between pathways that contribute to autoimmunity and protective immunity (such as in response to infection or vaccination). Enhanced understanding of this may allow to design improved intervention strategies for autoimmunity.

Siti Rahmayanti, MD

Siti Rahmayanti, MD
MD, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Email: siti.rahmayanti@childrens.harvard.edu

My project explores B cell primary immune responses within autoimmune environment through characterization of their intrafollicular (germinal center) vs. extrafollicular (plasma cells) compartment.
 

Anuj Rattan, PhD Anuj Rattan, PhD
PhD in Biotechnology, National Center for Cell Science (NCCS), Pune, India
Email: ajitanuj.rattan@childrens.harvard.edu
Generation of autoantibodies by auto reactive B cells is one of the major hallmarks of autoimmunity. Apoptotic cells are major source of autoantigens and inefficient clearance of apoptotic cells is central to activation of auto reactive B cells. I am interested in understanding the role of a newly identified complement receptor, NRP1 (CD304) in apoptotic cell clearance (immune complexes) and its implication in regulation of autoimmunity.
 
Esra Yalcin, PhD

Esra Yalcin, PhD
PhD in Neuroscience from Istanbul Medipol University 
Email: esra.yalcin@childrens.harvard.edu 

My project is focused on understanding the effect of C4A copy number variation on schizophrenia development by correlating genetic analysis and synapse density analysis in a C4A humanized mouse model and postmortem brain tissue. 

Yingying Zhang, PhD

Yingying Zhang, PhD
PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University 
Email: yingying.zhang@childrens.harvard.edu

By applying a newly developed technology called MERFISH (Multiplexed Error Robust Fluorescent in-situ Hybridization), I am interested in addressing the following questions: 1) which brain cell types express complement components? 2) where in the brain and when during development are they expressed? 3) how does C4 deficiency or C4 overexpression affect the transcriptional landscape in the mouse brain? The ultimate goal is to understand the role of C4 and the complement pathway during brain development and how mechanistically C4 overexpression can contribute to schizophrenia.

 

Graduate Students 

Ernest Aw

Ernest Aw
PhD student in Immunology, Harvard University 
Email: ernest.aw@childrens.harvard.edu   

I am interested in interferon-α (IFNα) dependent modulation of the central nervous system (CNS) and its resulting effects on behavioral phenotypes.
 

Elliot Akama-Garren

Elliot Akama-Garren
MD/PhD student 
Email: egarren@gmail.com

I am interested in self-reactive T cells and how they are regulated especially in epitope spreading in systemic autoimmunity.
 

Stacie Lin

Stacie Lin
MD/PhD student in Immunology, Harvard University 
Email: stacie.lin@childrens.harvard.edu

I am interested in immune mediators localized to the meninges and blood brain barrier driving neurological manifestations in autoimmunity and infection.
 

Danni Zhu Danni Zhu
PhD student in Virology, Harvard University 
Email: yidan.zhu@childrens.harvard.edu
I am interested in understanding the mechanisms behind persistent autoantibody production in SLE and how innate immune sensors regulate autoreactive memory B cell activity.

 

Technicians 

Minghe Ma

Minghe Ma 
Research technician 
Email: minghe.ma@childrens.harvard.edu  
 

 

 

faceless BCH female avatar Diana Pascual
Animal Technician