B-cell Immunobiology Lab Members | NYU Langone Health

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B-cell Immunobiology Lab B-cell Immunobiology Lab Members

B-cell Immunobiology Lab Members

Investigators in the B-cell Immunobiology Lab lead pioneering investigations to advance our understanding of autoimmune disease.

Principal Investigator


Gregg Silverman, MD

The Mamdouha S. Bobst Professor of Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine
Professor, Department of Pathology

Dr. Silverman has studied B-cell immunobiology and autoimmunity since the start of his fellowship at the Scripps Research Foundation in 1985. Working in the laboratory of Dennis Carson, these studies initially focused on clinical samples with monoclonal rheumatoid factors from the laboratory of Henry Kunkel (Rockefeller Institute), the father of modern clinical immunology and the analysis of antibody gene usage in human rheumatoid factors from patients with essential mixed cryoglobulinemia, hepatitis C, rheumatoid arthritis, and Sjogren’s syndrome. These studies evolved into investigations of the human B-cell repertoire, B-cell superantigens, and more recently the interplay between the microbiome and host immunity.

In collaborative studies with the laboratory of Joseph Witztum (University of California, San Diego), we have developed insights into the immunomodulatory properties of B-cells as producers of protective autoantibodies to apoptotic cell membrane determinants that may oppose the development of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Recent investigations in the human gut microbiome have led to the identification of a candidate pathobiont, linked to the pathogenesis of lupus nephritis, a major cause of morbidity and mortality.

Since the early 1990s, Dr. Silverman has also directed an annual course of phage display and recombinant antibody technology at Cold Spring Harbor Lab, which recently celebrated the 2018 Nobel Prize of George P. Smith, the inventor of phage display technology.

Dr. Silverman is also a practicing rheumatologist with a special interest in caring for patients with lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and related conditions. After more than two decades on the faculty at UCSD, in 2011 Dr. Silverman moved to NYU School of Medicine where he continues to lead an NIH-funded basic and translational research group.

Societies and Honors

  • Alpha Omega Alpha, 1980
  • American College of Rheumatology (Fellow)
  • American Association of Immunologists
  • Henry Kunkel Society, Rockefeller University, 2000
  • American Society for Clinical Investigation, Member, 2001

Lab Members

Doua Azzouz, PhD
Senior Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr. Azzouz earned her PhD in immunology from Faculty of Sciences Aix-Marseille University. While there, she studied immune-genetic and autoantibodies as biomarkers in a range of autoimmune diseases. While studying systemic sclerosis she characterized the HLA shared epitope background and assessed for possible associations with clinical disease features. She also studied roles for microchimerism in both systemic sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Furthermore, she identified new autoantibodies as predictive and diagnostic markers in both systemic sclerosis and systemic lupus erythematous. Since joining the B-cell Immunobiology Lab as a postdoctoral fellow, she has been engaged in the study of clinical and immunologic aspects in lupus erythematous, which include autoantibody expression, the gut microbiome, and its potential roles in disease pathogenesis.

Jing Deng, PhD
Research Scientist

Dr. Deng obtained her PhD in biomedical science-immunology from Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. Her scientific investigations have focused on understanding the mechanisms responsible for immune responses in infectious and autoimmune diseases. These studies have included the isolation and characterization of HIV-neutralizing antibodies from humans and macaques by traditional methods and high-throughput single B-cell sequencing (BCR-Seq) for the comprehensive analysis of antibody repertoires, with an overarching goal of guiding HIV-1 vaccine development. These studies have also sought to understand the host-pathogen relationship with viral pathogens, and the elucidation of virus-mediated synapse signaling to provide crucial information for antiviral therapies. In studies of host-pathogen interactions, she has examined TLRs and IFN signal pathways, canonical and noncanonical autophagic pathways in innate immunity, and IRF5 activation in SLE patients. As a research scientist in the B-cell Immunobiology Lab, she has aided translational research efforts in autoimmune diseases involving the gut microbiome and superantigen production, using both in vitro and in vivo model systems.

Nicole Ferstler, BS
Research Technician

In 2016, Nicole graduated Stony Brook University with a BS in genetics. Before joining our lab, she worked in the biopharmaceutical industry researching cancer pathways and pneumococcal vaccines. In the lab, Nicole has been studying lupus-associated antibodies and is mastering a range of immunologic technologies to help advance many of our projects.

Emily Radke, MS

Emily studied biochemistry at the University of San Diego. She joined the Vilcek Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences and after a rotation in the B-cell Immunobiology Lab in the fall of 2015, Emily officially joined in the summer of 2016. She is currently studying the human antibody response to Staphylococcus aureus. Her research will lead to a better understanding of Staphylococcus infections for vaccine therapies.

Jessica Rosario

Lab Alumni

Hanane el Bannoudi, PhD
Former Postdoctoral Research Ccientist

Adam J Pelzek, PhD
Former Graduate Researcher

Lelise Getu
Former Research Technician

David Hernandez, PhD
Former Graduate Researcher

Patryk Krzesaj
Former Research Technician

John Murray
Former NIAID Staph Contract Administrator

Alejandro Ulloa, PhD
Former Graduate Researcher