Our Science – Martin Website
Maureen P. Martin, M.D.
Her research interests involve studies of host genetic effects on complex human diseases including infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases and cancer. Her focus is on genes known to participate in innate and acquired immunity, primarily the killer Immunoglobulin-like Receptor (KIR) genes and related loci.
1. Determine the genetic effects of HLA and KIR variants on disease.
Given the importance of KIR-mediated regulation of natural killer (NK) cell activity, their specificity for HLA class I allotypes, and their extensive genomic diversity, our efforts are geared towards characterizing the effects of KIR gene variation in resistance and susceptibility to diseases.
2. Characterize the molecular genetic properties of the KIR gene cluster.
A greater understanding of the evolutionary and molecular genetic characteristics of the KIR gene cluster is also a main objective. This is especially important for genetic loci that consist of multiple homologues that share functional activity such as the KIR genes because it provides a significant aid in identifying the actual disease locus amongst multiple possibilities. Thus, we aim to determine levels of LD between KIR genes and alleles using segregation analysis in families and population based studies, and characterize the organization and frequency of recombinant KIR haplotypes.
This page was last updated on 3/31/2014.