The renowned American Board Certified Clinical Pathologist and Immunologist, Paul Love, MD, Ph.D., is appreciated immensely for his contributions in the realm of research. Currently serving as a Senior Investigator at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in the National Institutes of Health, Love has come a long way in his research journey focused on Hematopoiesis and Lymphocyte Biology. He is also an active member of the American Association of Immunologists and a recipient of several medals from the United States Public Health Service. Below, we relate the incredible story of Dr. Love’s Lab, located on the National Institutes of Health’s main campus in suburban Maryland.
Love’s lab, the Section on Hematopoiesis and Lymphocyte Biology is focused on explaining the cellular and molecular processes that control mammalian hematopoiesis. Although this research topic is quite broad, his studies are engaged in three specific areas.
The principal area of research that represents a long term project in the lab includes characterization of the role of T cell antigen receptor (TCR) signals, and precisely, individual TCR signal transducing subunits and signal transducing motifs in T cell development. A specific focus is the characterization of signal transduction molecules and pathways regulating T cell maturation in the thymus. Current research incorporates the generation of transgenic and conditional deletion mutants to assess the significance of T cell antigen receptor (TCR) signaling and TCR signaling subunits at specific phases of T cell development.
These investigations utilize various genetically altered mouse strains, some created in his lab and some elsewhere, by gene targeting and transgenic innovation. An advantage of this approach is that it has enabled the lab to investigate developmental and physiological processes which could not be addressed within vitro genetic methodologies.
The second research area is to distinguish and describe the functions of other signal-transducing molecules that have a vital role in T cell development (CCR9, CD5, Themis, Fbxl12). This research utilizes gene profiling (RNA-seq and ChIP-seq) to distinguish and characterize molecules that are significant for thymocyte selection (this process advances the survival and development of functional T cells and the death of auto-reactive T cells that could cause immune system illnesses). The purpose of these investigations is to see how these molecules participate in TCR-mediated signaling pathways and to figure out what roles they and the signaling pathways they regulate play in T cell development, thymocyte selection and T cell activation.
The third aspect of the research analyzes the role of Ldb1, a nuclear adapter protein, in hematopoiesis. This examination has uncovered significant functions for Ldb1 in the hematopoietic specification, erythropoiesis, and hematopoietic stem cell maintenance. The research done in his lab may provide new insights into the pathogenic mechanism underlying autoimmune disease or primary immunodeficiencies and may identify new avenues for the treatment of human hematopoietic malignancies.
A final area of research centers around hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), the cells that give rise to all blood cells. Love’s lab has begun to characterize the genes that are significant for the generation and maintenance of HSCs and for their differentiation into specific hematopoietic lineages. These studies have provided valuable insights into the self-renewal/differentiation cell-fate decision in hematopoietic stem cells and in the genesis of specific sorts of T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL).