“The RNA Helicase DDX39B and Autoimmunity"

Start Date & Time: 
Friday, 16 November, 2018 - 16:00
End Date & Time: 
Friday, 16 November, 2018 - 17:00

Amphitheatre (Level 2)
Duke-NUS Medical School
8 College Road
Singapore 169857

Speaker Details: 

Mariano Garcia-Blanco
Professor and Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, UTMB
Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases, Duke-NUS


Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks CNS neurons leading to demyelination and neurological deficits. A driver of multiple sclerosis risk is the soluble interleukin-7 receptor alpha chain gene (sIL7R), produced by alternative splicing of IL7R transcripts. We found that the splicing factor DDX39B is a potent repressor of sIL7R formation and discovered a strong genetic association of DDX39B with autoimmunity risk.

Recently, we have uncovered that DDX39B is critically important for gene expression programs in T regulatory cells, providing further evidence that DDX39B downregulates autoimmunity


Mariano Garcia-Blanco is Professor and Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UTMB and Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases at Duke-NUS. Professor Garcia-Blanco has made seminal contributions to RNA biology and virology. He has published over 170 research articles, reviews and book chapters, and has been continuously funded since 1991.

He was a Raymond and Beverly Sackler Foundation Scholar, and was elected member of the Association of American Physicians, fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.


Professor Ooi Eng Eong
Programme in Emerging Infectious Diseases

Contact Person: 

Shirley William