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Chris Wilson, Ph.D.

Department: Microbiology & Immunology, 2018

Faculty Mentor: Daniel Moore, M.D., Ph.D.

Dissertation Title: New Modes of B lymphocyte Regulation in Autoimmune Disease

Dissertation Abstract: The deleterious roles that B lymphocytes play in autoimmunity and regulation of immune tolerance are well documented in the literature. B lymphocytes are thought to mediate autoimmunity primarily through presentation of autoantigens to T lymphocytes. Targeting B lymphocytes by depletion clinically in autoimmune disease has been attempted with varying levels of success. The failure of current clinical approaches may be the result of a deficit in our understanding of the role of B lymphocytes in autoimmune disease. B lymphocytes possess multiple functions which, depending on context, may mediate distinct immunologic outcomes. Certain instances have indicated that B lymphocytes can mediate immune regulation. Targeting B lymphocyte function and homeostasis in autoimmune disease revealed novel ways that B lymphocyte regulate organ damage and reverse autoimmune disease. This work highlights new ways to foster B lymphocyte regulation of autoimmune disease.