Deborah J. Lenschow, M.D., Ph.D.

Deborah Lenschow
Associate Professor
Internal Medicine
Washington University
4939 Children's Place
CSRB Rm 6617
City, state, ZIP
St. Louis, MO 63110
(314) 852-6444
[email protected]
Research field
Immunology, Virology
Award year


We are interested in understanding the mechanism by which type I interferons function, and how these cytokines impact upon the development of autoimmune disease, in particular vasculitis. Utilizing an in vivo screen, we identified interferon stimulated gene 15 (ISG15) as a novel antiviral molecule. ISG15 is an ubiquitin-like molecule with two biological activities. It forms conjugates with intracellular proteins, with over 150 host proteins having been identified as ISG15 targets. Ongoing work in our lab is aimed at elucidating the mechanism by which ISG15 exerts its antiviral activity. We are pursuing this question by exploring the function of the innate immune system in the absence of ISG15; determining the fate of both host and viral proteins conjugated to ISG15; and investigating the cytokine activity of ISG15. A second area of interest in the lab is to understand the relationship between interferons, viral infection, and vascular disease. We study a murine model of large vessel vasculitis, in which infection of immunodeficient mice with a gamma-herpes virus results in the development of vascular disease which resembles the human disease, Takayasu's arteritis.

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