Rafael Casellas, Ph.D.
The major goal of our laboratory is to unravel the molecular mechanisms driving early development and peripheral activation of B lymphocytes. In particular, we are interested in the processes that assemble, diversify, and provide effector functions to antibody receptors, namely V(D)J recombination, somatic hypermutation, and class switching. Another major interest of our laboratory is to understand how deregulation of these reactions leads to B cell tumorigenesis. To achieve these goals, our laboratory is combining molecular biology, genome editing, mouse genetics, genomics and bioinformatic tools.
Rafael’s laboratory of Lymphocyte Nuclear Biology interests center on two related themes: elucidating the nuclear events driving B cell development, and uncovering new mechanistic details of transcriptional activation. To accomplish this, Rafael established in 2010 the NIH Mouse Regulome Project, an intramural-extramural program that seeks to understand transcriptional regulation in the mouse genome using cutting-edge techniques, including Hi-C, CRISPR-Cas9 genetic screens, cryo-EM, nanoscopy, single molecule dynamics, and genomics. As enumerated below, at each stage of the project, various intramural and extramural laboratories participate as collaborators. Rafael’s lab is also part of the NIH 4D Nucleome Project, which explores the role of nuclear architecture in development.
Selected Key Publications
- Cell. 173(5): 1165-1178.e20, 2018. [ Journal Article ]
- Mol Cell. 67(4): 566-578.e10, 2017. [ Journal Article ]
- Cell. 162(4): 708-11, 2015. [ Journal Article ]
- Cell. 159(7): 1524-37, 2014. [ Journal Article ]
Interactome maps of mouse gene regulatory domains reveal basic principles of transcriptional regulation.Cell. 155(7): 1507-20, 2013. [ Journal Article ]
Rafael Casellas received his Ph.D. under Michel Nussenzweig at the Rockefeller University in 2002. His thesis explored the role of immunoglobulin gene transcription and recombination in the establishment of B cell tolerance. From 2002 to 2003 he did postdoctoral training with David Baltimore at Caltech. In December 2003, Rafael joined the NIH, where he is currently a branch chief of the laboratory of Lymphocyte Nuclear Biology.
|Kyong-Rim Kieffer Kwon Ph.D.||Staff Scientist, NIAMS|
|Seol Kyoung Jung Ph.D.||Staff Scientist, NIAMS|
|Solji Park D.V.M., Ph.D.||Research Fellow, NIAMS|
|Jianliang Xu Ph.D.||Research Fellow, NIAMS|
|Aleksandra Pekowska Ph.D.||Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting), NIAMS|
|Jens Kalchschmidt Ph.D.||Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting), NIAMS|
|Yongbing Zhao Ph.D.||Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting), NIAMS|
|Andrea Conte Ph.D.||Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting), NIAMS|
|Xiang Wang Ph.D.||Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting), NIAMS|
|Supriya Vartak Ph.D.||Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting), NIAMS|
|Michael Fedkenheuer Ph.D.||Postdoctoral Fellow (IRTA), NIAMS|
|Jenna Lieberman Ph.D.||Postdoctoral Fellow (IRTA), NIAMS|