Emmanuel Zorn PhD

Dr. Zorn received a Ph.D. in tumor immunology from Paris University in 1999 for his studies on melanoma antigens targeted by tumor infiltrating T cells. He then joined Dana-Farber Cancer Institute where he studied the role of regulatory T cells in chronic graft versus host disease in humans. Dr. Zorn moved to the Transplant Center at Massachusetts General Hospital in 2006 where he now is the Director of the Human Transplantation Immunology Laboratory. The primary focus of his lab is on B cells and antibodies in mechanisms of rejection or acceptance of kidney transplants. His main research topics are:
Mechanisms of chronic antibody mediated rejection of kidney allografts. Chronic humoral rejection (CHR) is one of the leading causes of late graft loss. The etiology of CHR is currently unknown. Dr. Zorn’s multicenter study uses samples collected from kidney transplant recipients at MGH as well as at collaborating centers in the USA and Europe to identify immune markers associated with CHR and piece together the causal chain leading to this complication.

Role of B cells infiltrating allografts during rejection (kidney and heart transplants). B cell infiltrates are often observed in solid organ grafts during chronic and acute rejection, yet their function is still unclear. Dr. Zorn’s studies use patient tissue specimen to characterize graft-infiltrating B cells and determine their contribution to the rejection mechanism.

Role of Natural Antibodies in host responses to solid organ grafts. Natural antibodies are broadly reactive serum immunoglobulins implicated in apoptotic cell clearance. Their contribution to inflammatory reactions associated with graft tissue destruction has not been examined. Dr. Zorn’s studies investigate the function of these natural antibodies in acute and chronic rejection.

Clonal composition of B cell subsets associated with tolerance to kidney allografts. Dr. Zorn’s research uses B cell repertoire analysis methods to identify and characterize clonal populations of B cells associated with tolerance in recipients of combined kidney/bone marrow transplant.