Maria-Luisa Alegre MD, PhD

The University of Chicago

Dr. Alegre received her MD in 1985 from the Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, and her PhD in Immunology in 1993 from the University of Chicago, following a clinical specialization in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Intensive Care. The Alegre laboratory is interested in the molecular mechanisms that determine the activation and inhibition of T lymphocytes during diseases such as autoimmunity, rejection of solid organ transplants, and cancer. A particular focus of the laboratory is the study of the transcription factor NF-?B in T cells, as its specific inhibition results in long-term acceptance of cardiac and pancreatic islet allografts and prevention of spontaneous autoimmune diabetes in mice, whereas its induction can promote the elimination of tumors. Another main interest centers on signals elicited by microbial infections and their consequences on immune responses to transplant antigens. These studies have the potential to further the understanding of the molecular signals that can initiate or attenuate immune-modulated diseases, with the ultimate goal of identifying new therapeutic targets for the clinic.