I am interested in the mechanisms of development of T cells and the commitment of hematopoietic stem cells and multi-potent progenitors to the T cell lineage. In collaboration with Dr. Marcos Garcia-Ojeda at University of California, Merced, I study a rare population of bone marrow resident T cell precursors that can develop into mature T cells using intrathymic and extrathymic pathways. In my laboratory at Macalester College, my students and I collaborate on a project investigating the potential role of semaphorin proteins in the intra-thymic development of T cells. We harvest lymphoid tissues and separate populations of interest using magnetic cell separation and flow cytometry. We then analyze gene expression and protein localization using reverse-transcriptase PCR, quantitative PCR, immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry. Udo Obodo (’08) from Lagos, Nigeria and Grace Linder (’09) from Chicago, IL have completed honors projects in my lab working on the semaphorin project. Leonor Ano (’10) from Argentina is currently working on this project in the lab. Udo and Grace have presented their work at regional and national immunology meetings.
Stories from Our Lab
Becoming a Scientist
I study the intersection of allergies and pain, specifically chronic pain that develops as a result of allergic inflammation. Understanding the functions of molecules involved in the inflammatory response may someday help us address chronic clinical pain disorders. The most valuable aspect of my research experience—in addition to the lab skills I acquired—was the passion I developed for the investigative process. Read more>>
Joining Team Chatterjea
My roommate, a student researcher, brought me to my first lab meeting with biology professor Devavani Chatterjea so I could learn more about opportunities in her lab. It looked like a graduate-level research lab. The students were actually designing experiments, generating and analyzing data, and contributing to manuscripts for publication. I was hooked. On the spot, I asked Professor Chatterjea if I could join her lab group. Read more>>
In the Lab of Professor Chatterjea
Who wouldn’t want to do original research on reducing pain or how T cells develop? In the immunology lab in Olin-Rice Science Center, Professor Devavani Chatterjea prepares students to make tomorrow’s breakthrough discoveries. They often get hooked on immunology while taking Chatterjea’s courses in cell biology and immunology, and can’t wait to dig deeper. Read more>>
Opening Research Doors
My work with Professor Chatterjea began when I took her Immunology class. I moved on to her Research in Immunology course and spent a semester learning the necessary literary background and laboratory techniques for further work on the mast cells project. Read more>>
Martinov T, Glenn-Finer R, Burley S, Tonc E, Balsells E, Ashbaugh A, Swanson L, Daughters R, Chatterjea D. Contact hypersensitivity to oxazolone provokes vulvar mechanical hyperalgesia in mice. PLoS ONE 2013.
Martinov T, Mack M, Sykes A, Chatterjea D. Measuring Changes in Tactile Sensitivity in the Hind Paw of Mice Using an Electronic von Frey Apparatus. J Vis Exp. 2013.
Chatterjea D, Paredes L, Martinov T, Balsells E, Allen J, Sykes A, Ashbaugh A. TNF-alpha neutralizing antibody blocks thermal sensitivity induced by compound 48/80-provoked mast cell degranulation. F1000Research 2013.
Linder GE, Chuntova PD, McLelland BT, Añó L, Obodo UC, Crider NJ, Matthes DJ, García-Ojeda ME, Manilay JO, Chatterjea D. Semaphorin 4A is dynamically regulated during thymocyte development in mice. Cell Immunol. 2013.
Chatterjea D, Wetzel A, Mack M, Engblom C, Allen J, Mora-Solano C, Paredes L, Balsells E, Martinov T. Mast cell degranulation mediates compound 48/80-induced hyperalgesia in mice. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2012.