Dr. Fitzgerald-Bocarsly received her undergraduate degree from UCLA, her PhD from
Boston University and her post-doctoral training at the Sloan Kettering Institute for
Cancer Research. She is Vice Chair for Basic Science of the Department and Scientific
Director of the Flow Cytometry and Immunology Core Laboratory at the NJMS. Her
research focuses on the human innate immune response to viral infections, with a
focus on plasmacytoid dendritic cells. Her lab was among the very first to describe
these cells and the first to describe their dysregulation in the context of HIV
Her current research focuses on the signaling pathways that lead to the production of
type I and type III interferons in human pDC, how these cells differ in different
anatomical locations, and how they change in the context of aging with and without
HIV infection as well as the immunometabolism of these cells in these different
immune compartments and disease states.
Ph.D., 1980, Boston University M.A., 1977, University of California at Davis B.S., 1976, University of California at Los Angeles
Hurley HJ, Dewald HK, Fitzgerald-Bocarsly P. Glycomic alterations in HIV infection: one
galactose or two?. J Leukoc Biol. 2018 Sep;104(3):445-446. doi: 10.1002/JLB.4CE0318-
113R. Epub 2018 Jun 12. PubMed PMID: 29893419.
Areas Of Interest
My laboratory is interested in studying both the basic and clinical biology of plasmactyoid dendritic cells (PDC), also known as the "natural interferon-alpha producing cells". These cells are the primary cells in the body that produce IFN in response to viral stimulation, imidizaquinilones and CpG. The PDC are important not only in the innate immune response, but also link the innate and adaptive responses by stimulating T cell resonses. We are studying basic aspects about the PDC including their phenotype, tissue distribution, mechanisms of activation (e.g. toll-like receptors, C-type lectins, IRF signaling pathways), and interaction with other cell types as well as their role and regulation in infectious diseases including HIV. In addition, recent studies have shown that PDC migrate into certain cancer tissues, and we are interested in studying the role and regulation of these cells in that setting.