Our Science – Van Laethem Website
Francois Van Laethem, Ph.D.
Dr. Van Laethem's research is focused on coreceptors and the tyrosine kinase Lck during T cell development. Lck is an essential tyrosine kinase that is required for T cell receptor (TCR) signaling during all stages of T cell development. Dr. Van Laethem is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms that make abT cell recognition only focused on MHC. Dr. Van Laethem's research has documented that alpha-beta T cell recognition need not be MHC-restricted as MHC-restriction is imposed on developing thymocytes by coreceptor-mediated Lck sequestration.
Dr. Van Laethem is also interested in the identification of ligands that are recognized by abT cells that develop in the absence of coreceptors and MHC. One ligand that has been found is the surface protein CD155, which is expressed by all hematopoietic cells. T cell receptors specific for this ligand have been cloned and studied in detail both in vitro and in vivo. Dr. Van Laethem's research has shown that CD155 is recognized by MHC-independent T cell receptors and the thymic ligand necessary for the selection of CD155-specific T cells. Dr. Van Laethem is currently identifying more MHC-independent ligands.
This page was last updated on 6/2/2014.