Steve Mack, PhD
Associate Scientist
Overview
Research
Publications

 

 

Email
Phone: 510-597-7145

 

OverView

The Human Leukocyte Antigens (HLA) are key elements of the innate and adaptive immune systems. These proteins are crucial for distinguishing ”self” from “non/aberrant-self”, and constitute the basis for the immune response to viruses, bacteria, parasites and many cancers. The HLA proteins are also associated with auto-immune diseases, which occur when “self” is misidentified as “non-self”. The accurate matching of the HLA “types” of marrow and cord-blood donors with transplant patients is crucial for avoiding transplant rejection and graft-vs-host disease.

The HLA genes are extremely polymorphic, with thousands of variants (alleles) known for some genes. Alleles of different HLA genes occur on the same chromosome more often than expected, in what is called Linkage Disequilibrium (LD). Their extensive polymorphism and LD make these genes highly informative, convenient markers for studies of individual ancestry, population genetics, and the peopling history of the world, as well as the evolution of HLA diversity.

Dr. Mack has studied the genetics of these immune genes and the genomics of the HLA region of the genome for over 20 years. His CHORI research group is focused on understanding how the polymorphism of the HLA genes informs predisposition to and protection from infectious and auto-immune diseases and cancers, and understanding what HLA polymorphism can tell us about human evolution and population genetics.

Dr. Mack’s group is actively developing novel software, standards and methods to improve donor-patient matching for marrow and cord blood transplantation and to advance research for highly polymorphic genes and genomic regions, in particular for HLA and Killer-cell Immunoglobulin-like Receptor(KIR) genotype data generated using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies.

Dr. Mack is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at UCSF, and an Associate Editor at Human Immunology, the Journal of the American Society of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (ASHI). He was a component leader of the 17th International HLA and Immunogenetics Workshop’s (IHIW), held in 2017, and is a member of the IHIW Council. He is also co-founder of the Immunogenomics Data Analysis Working Group and the Immunogenomic Next Generation Sequencing Data Consortium.

 

Scientists & Staff

Scientists
Derek Pappas, PhD, Assistant Staff Scientist

Staff Research Associates
Anna Lisa Fear, Staff Research Associate III

Katrina Eaton, Staff Research Associate I

Administrative Staff
Lynn Downward, Administrative Coordinator

 

Revised: October 11, 2018 2:12 PM

 

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