CONGRATULATIONS TO LAUREN EHRLICH:
"My fond hope would be that we find the molecular interactions that are really critical for T cell lymphoma development, and then we can find ways to start blocking those interactions," Ehrlich said.
Ehrlich and the team of graduate students and other researchers she is assembling will use T cells from mice for their studies. T cells, which are a type of white blood cell, develop in the thymus, a small organ in the chest beneath the breastbone.
In mice and humans alike, T cells orchestrate an important part of the immune system's infection-fighting response to bacteria, viruses and other disease-causing organisms. They are also responsible for immunologic memory, the body's capacity to resist recurrent infections. Immature T cells, called thymocytes, motor around in certain ways and in certain areas within the thymus as they interact with other cells and develop. One important tool is a combined microscope and laser called a two-photon microscopy system. The device, costing nearly $600,000, will allow Ehrlich and her team to peer at living T cells within thymic tissue.
Ehrlich, who is married with two young daughters, grew up in Austin before leaving for studies at Yale, Stanford and the University of California, San Francisco. She said she's thrilled to be at UT.
Her colleagues feel the same way.