Autoimmunity results from a breakdown in one or more central or peripheral mechanisms of lymphocyte tolerance induction or maintenance. In the case of T cells, central tolerance is imposed within the thymus, key orchestrators being medullary thymic epithelial cells (mTECs), which play critical roles in both negative selection of T effector cells and positive selection of T regulatory cells. A unique feature of mTECs is expression of thousands of loci encoding antigens typically associated with fully differentiated peripheral parenchymal cells (peripheral-tissue antigens or PTAs).
In this lecture, Dr. Sandler will describe the wide range of research made possible by the Sister Study cohort established in 2003 to study environmental and genetic risk factors for breast cancer in a cohort of 50,000 women who have a sister with breast cancer. The prospective design and extensive questionnaire data, biological samples, and physiologic measurements at enrollment along with detailed follow-up questionnaires has allowed researchers to study lifecourse exposures associated with breast cancer as well other health endpoints.
Heran Darwin, Ph.D. NYU Langone Health, Grossman School of Medicine
Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a human-exclusive pathogen, is arguably the deadliest microbe on the planet. While SARS-CoV-2 killed more people than M. tuberculosis for a year or two, it is estimated M. tuberculosis has killed 1-2 million people yearly for millennia. The long coexistence of this bacterial species with humans has likely resulted in the selection of host and pathogen populations that prevent either's extinction. We propose that reactive aldehydes produced in metabolic pathways are exploited during certain microbial infections.