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Andrea Ferrante

Research Interests: 

The study of histocompatibility in man and in other vertebrates has led to the understanding of the mechanisms of immune recognition and to the discovery of novel molecules and cells involved in these processes, including class I and class II proteins encoded in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) of all vertebrates examined and T cell receptors. The normal human response to bacterial and viral infection involves these molecules and results in either the generation of T helper cells and antibodies or of cytotoxic T-lymphocytes. In addition, many important human autoimmune diseases are linked to particular alleles of the class I and class II proteins.

In particular, the recognition by CD4+ T cells of peptides bound to class II MHC (MHCII) and exposed on the surface of antigen presenting cells initiates an adaptive immune response. Antigen presentation is a multistep process involving the intracellular fragmentation of protein antigens, followed by binding of the derived peptide epitopes to MHCII with the participation of the peptide-editing molecule DM, and subsequent transport to the surface for recognition. Our long-term goal is to sufficiently characterize the stages of this process so that we can predict T cell responses.

My laboratory is currently focused on three main projects:

  ●  The biochemical and biophysical bases of binding of antigenic peptides to MHC II molecules and the correlation between binding thermodynamics, structure and biology of the peptide/MHCII complex.

●  The mechanism by which DM skews the repertoire of peptide/MHCII complexes presented to CD4+ T cells in favor of the most stable complexes.

●  Developing an in silico binding prediction algorithm based on the in vitro observations, with specific clinical application, such as development of inhibitors in Hemophilia A patients.

Andrea Ferrante
Andrea Ferrante
Assistant Professor
Office: 
223A Murie Building
907.474.5916
Lab: 
218 Murie Building
907.474.6521
Postal Address: 
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Institute of Arctic Biology
PO Box 757000
Fairbanks, AK 99775-7000
  • Diploma di Maturita' Scientifica  1995
    Liceo Scientifico "G.P. Vieusseux" - Imperia, Italy
  • M.D. 2003 Diploma di Laurea in Medicina e Ghirurgia
    University of Genoa Medical School, Italy
  • Internal Medicine Board Certification
    S. Martino Hospital, Genoa Medical School, Italy
  • 2005 Molecular Genetics
    Blood Research Institute, Blood Center of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

2013

2012

Ferrante, A., 2012. HLA-DM: arbiter conformationis. Immunology, 138, pp.85–92.
Petrova, G., Ferrante, A. & Gorski, J., 2012. Cross-Reactivity of T Cells and Its Role in the Immune System. Critical Reviews in Immunology, 32, pp.349–372.

2011

2010

Baumgartner, C.K. et al., 2010. Peptide-MHC class II complex stability governs CD4 T cell clonal selection. J Immunol, 184(2), pp.573-81.

2008

Pages

Current Graduate Students (More info)
  • Tynan Becker
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