Amy E Lovett-Racke

Amy E Lovett-Racke

 Department of Microbial Infection and Immunity, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, USA


 Dr. Lovett-Racke's current research focuses on characterizing the T lymphocytes responsible for damaging the brain and spinal cord in multiple sclerosis. T lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell that are heavily involved in destroying anything the immune system identifies as foreign. Because the myelin sheath is recognized as foreign in MS for unclear reasons, T cells specific for attacking myelin are thought to play a large role in MS progression. Dr. Lovett-Racke determined that although all individuals have T lymphocytes specific for attacking myelin, they are only active in MS patients. This has led her to hypothesize that these T lymphocytes are the important cell type in MS and would be a good cell to target for future therapeutics. Rather than targeting T lymphocytes which are required to fight off natural infections, Dr. Lovett-Racke has focused her studies on eliminating critical proteins for myelin-specific T lymphocytes. One of these targets is T-bet, which is necessary for the transcription of the myelin-specific T lymphocytes. She has developed a small interfering RNA (siRNA) which is a molecule that essentially silences the effect of T-bet, and thus diminishes the myelin-specific T lymphocytes. She has successfully prevented and treated a mouse model of MS. She is currently optimizing the siRNA for human clinical trials with the hope that this strategy may be used as a therapeutic treatment of MS.

Research Interest

Immunology, Microbial Infection s, encephalitogenic T cells, multiple sclerosis

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