Howard A. Young, Ph.D.
Howard Young has expertise in the regulation and characterization of cytokine gene expression with a special emphasis on interferons. The Young laboratory has as its major focus how disruption of the control of interferon-γ (IFN-γ) gene expression during development and maturation of the cellular immune system impacts the host inflammatory response and the development of autoimmune disease and cancer. His laboratory has developed a mouse model of chronic Interferon-gamma expression that results in 3 different autoimmune diseases resembling lupus, aplastic anemia and primary biliary cirrhosis. This model may provide new insight into the initiation and progression of these diseases.
The laboratory studies the control of gene expression during the development and maturation of the cellular immune system in mediating antitumor and anti-inflammatory immune responses. The general goals are to use cellular and molecular approaches to investigate the consequences of persistent exposure to interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and how it alters host physiology. To approach this question, we have generated a novel mouse model where a portion of the 3' untranslated region of the mRNA has been changed, resulting in a much more stable mRNA and this will now permit us to understand the consequences of persistent IFN-γ expression on the host. We have backcrossed this change onto the murine C57BL/6 and Balb/c genetic backgrounds and as a consequence have developed new mouse models for lupus, primary biliary cholangitis and aplastic anemia. These mice are characterized by low but chronic IFN-γ expression. As a result there is persistent upregulation of IFN-γ inducible genes, resulting in the development of autoimmunity. Overall, our studies represent a cellular and molecular analysis of the consequences of aberrant regulation of cytokine gene expression in lymphoid cells and the effects on the host physiology and immune system development and function. Our studies provide a basis for developing a more complete understanding of the effects of IFN-γ expression during the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases, cancer and infection.
Our collaborators include NCI investigators Giorgio Trinchieri, Dan McVicar, Dennis Klinman, and David Wink. In addition we have collaborations with Dr. Stefanie Vogel (University of Maryland School of Medicine), Dr. Dan Barber (NIAID), Dr. Bira Arya (NIA), Dr. Monika Wolters (The Netherlands) and Dr. Richard Siegel (NIAMS).
Selected Key Publications
IFN-γ causes aplastic anemia by altering hematopoiesis stem/progenitor cell composition and disrupting lineage differentiation.Blood. 53: 33-45, 2014. [ Journal Article ]
- J. Autoimmunity. 53: 33-45, 2014. [ Journal Article ]
- PLoS ONE. 6: e16967, 2011. [ Journal Article ]
- Gut. 64: 332-341, 2015. [ Journal Article ]
- Blood. 117: 575-84, 2011. [ Journal Article ]
Dr. Howard Young obtained his Ph.D. in microbiology at the University of Washington and carried out postdoctoral research at the NCI under Drs. Edward Scolnick and Wade Parks. He was a member of the Laboratory of Molecular Immunoregulation at NCI from 1983 to 1989 prior to joining the Laboratory of Experimental Immunology in 1989. He was President of the International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research (2004-2005) and served as Chair of the Immunology Division of the American Society for Microbiology. He has also served as Chair of the NIH Cytokine Interest Group and Co-Chair of the NIH Immunology Interest Group. He is a two-time recipient of the NIH Director's Award for Mentoring (2000, 2006) and in 2006 he received the National Public Service Award. In 2007 he was named Deputy Chief of the Laboratory of Experimental Immunology.
|Kevin Chen||Postbaccalaureate Fellow|
|Nkolika Egbukichi Ph.D.||Postdoctoral Fellow (CRTA)|
|Rebecca Erwin-Cohen Ph.D.||Postdoctoral Fellow (CRTA)|
|John Fenimore||Postbaccalaureate Fellow|
|Megan M. Hess||Postbaccalaureate Fellow (CRTA)|
|Tomoaki Hoshino M.D., Ph.D.||Research Collaborator|
|Michael Sanford||Research Biologist|
|Julio C. Valencia, M.D.||Staff Scientist|