Martina Gatzka, Ph.D.

Martina Gatzka, Ph.D.


Autoimmune Disorder Target: DRAK2

Martina Gatzka, Ph.D.

University of California
Irvine, CA
Modulation of central and peripheral immunological tolerance by DRAK2, a negative regulatory of lymphocyte signaling

This is Dr. Gatzka’s second year of work in autoimmune disorders, studying the body’s natural surveillance mechanisms. When T lymphocytes (T cells), a type of white blood cell, cannot distinguish between self and non-self tissues, they contribute to inflammation and tissue destruction in autoimmune diseases such as RA, lupus, and MS. Dr. Gatzka is studying a particular surveillance mechanism that keeps T cells from going awry called DRAK2 (DAP-related apoptotic kinase-2). Her research applies cutting-edge immunological and molecular biological methods to investigate how a DRAK2 modulates T cell activation and tolerance in a mouse model of rheumatoid arthritis, collagen-induced arthritis (CIA).

Identifying strategies to specifically block and eliminate self-reactive T lymphocytes is key to the development of efficient new therapies for these immune mediated diseases.

Article Author
Arthritis National Research Foundation

The Arthritis National Research Foundation's mission is to provide initial research funding to brilliant, investigative scientists with new ideas to cure arthritis and related autoimmune diseases. Writing articles about the patients affected and the science being done to find a cure shows why we need to come together to #CureArthritis!

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