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Laurel Eckhardt, Hesselbach Professor of Biology

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Office: Room 830A
Phone: (212) 772-5237
: 937/940 (212) 772-4013
Fax: (212) 772-5227

Lab Web Site:


  • B.A., 1974, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Ph.D., 1980, Stanford University
  • Postdoc., 1980-1984, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Research Interest:

  • Molecular Genetics of Lymphocyte Development and Differentiation
    The long-range research goal of this laboratory is to understand the genetic events that accompany lymphocyte differentiation and that specify lymphocyte function. B and T lymphocytes are central to the adaptive immune system - the mechanism by which vertebrates develop long-term and specific immunity to pathogens. B lymphocytes use antibodies to recognize pathogens and give rise to plasmacytes that actively secrete antibodies as a means to eliminate disease-causing organisms.

    The current major research interest of the laboratory is the control of antibody (or immunoglobulin) gene expression in the developing B lymphocyte. We and others have identified multiple transcriptional enhancers within the immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgH) locus. IgH gene assembly, transcription, heavy chain class-switching, and even the malignant transformation of the Ig-secreting cell likely depend upon the action of one or more of these enhancers. We are undertaking functional analyses of the enhancers (using transgenic mice and Igh locus-modified mice) to identify their respective roles in the complex regulation of this immunologically important locus.

Selected Publications:

  • Peng, C. and Eckhardt, L.A. Role of the Igh intronic enhancer Emu in clonal selection at the pre-B to immature B cell transition. (2013) J. Immunol. 191: 4399-4411. PMCID: PMC3810302
  • Yl, Pieretti, J., Ju, Z., Wei, S. Christin, J., Bah, F., Birshtein, B.K., and Eckhardt, L.A. Homologous elements hs3a and hs3b in the 3’ regulatory region of the murine immunoglobulin heavy chain (Igh) locus are both dispensable for class-switch recombination. (2011) J. Biol. Chem. 286:27123-27131. PMCID: PMC3149305
  • Li, F., Yan, Y., Pieretti, J, Feldman, D.A., and Eckhardt, L.A. (2010) Comparison of identical and functional Igh alleles reveals a nonessential role for Emu in somatic hypermutation and class-switch recombination. J. Immunol. 185:6049-6057. (Epub ahead of print Oct. 11, 2010)
  • Li, F. and Eckhardt, L.A. (2009) A role for the IgH intronic enhancer, Eμ, in enforcing allelic exclusion. J Exp Med. 206:153-67. Epub 2008 Dec 29.
  • Yan, Y., Park, S.S., Janz, S., and Eckhardt, L.A. (2007) In a model of immunoglobulin (IGH)/MYC translocation, the Igh 3’ regulatory region induces MYC expression at the immature stage of B cell development. Genes, Chrom. & Cancer 46: 950-959.
  • Zhang, B., Alaie-Petrillo, A., Kon, M., Li, F. and Eckhardt, L.A. (2007) Transcription of a productively rearranged Ig VDJC does not require the presence of HS4 in the Igh 3’ regulatory region. J. Immunol. 178: 6297-6306.
  • Zhou, Jie, Saleque, S., Ermakova, O., Sepulveda, M., Eckhardt, L.A., Schildkraut, C.L., and Birshtein, B.K. (2005) J. Immunol. 175: 2317-2320
  • Garrett, F.E., Emelyanov, A.V. Sepulveda, M.A., Flanagan, P., Volpi, S. Li, F. Loukinov, D., Eckhardt, L.A., Lobanenkov, V.V. and Birshtein, B.K. (2005) Mol. Cell. Biol. 25: 1511-1525
  • Salas, M. and Eckhardt, L.A. (2003) Critical role for the Oct-2/OCA-B partnership in Ig-secreting cells. J. Immunol. 171:6589-6598.
  • Shi, X. and Eckhardt, L.A. (2001) Deletional analyses reveal an essential role for the hs3b/hs4 IgH 3 enhancer pair in an Ig-secreting but not an earlier-stage B cell line. Int. Immunol. 13:1003-1012.
  • Sharif, N., Radomska, H.S., Miller, D.M., and Eckhardt, L.A. (2001) Unique function for carboxyl-terminal domain of Oct-2 in Ig-secreting cells. J. Immunol. 167:4421-4429.


Last Updated ( Wednesday, 31 August 2016 16:18 )