Gopalakrishnan 

Jaanam Gopalakrishnan

E-Mail: Jaanam-Gopalakrishnan@omrf.org

PHONE:  405-271-2572

CITY/STATE/COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

Kerala, India

EDUCATION:

School of Biosciences
Mahatma Gadhi University
Kerala, India
MS, Biotechnology 2009

YEAR OF GRADUATE PROGRAM:

4

MENTOR:

Patrick M. Gaffney, MD
Arthritis & Clinical Immunology Research Program, MS 57
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic inflammatory disease with diverse clinical manifestations. SLE is characterized by loss of tolerance to self-antigens and production of pathogenic autoantibodies. A strong genetic basis has been established to SLE and over 80 genes are now firmly identified as risk factors. Following gene discovery by genome-wide association studies, focus is now on finding and functionally characterizing the precise variants responsible for genetic association. My project in the Gaffney lab is to identify and functionally characterize the variants in the gene UBE2L3 that produces the genetic association with SLE and results in the over expression of UBE2L3. The gene product of UBE2L3 is a ubiquitin conjugating enzyme and is involved in ubiquitin signaling pathways and regulation of lymphoid signaling. A more precise understanding of how genetic variants influence regulation of UBE2L3 in different cell types and cell states should shed light on its importance in contributing to autoimmune disease risk and hopefully point to new opportunities for treatment.