People

Michael Carroll

Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School 

PCMM, Boston Children’s Hospital 

Co-director, MMSc in Immunology, Harvard Medical School 

Email: Michael.carroll@childrens.harvard.edu 

Dr.  Michael Carroll received his Ph.D. in Immunology from the UT Southwestern Medical School (Dallas, TX) under the direction of Dr. J. Donald Capra; subsequently, he trained with Dr. Rodney R. Porter in the Biochemistry Department, Oxford U (Oxford UK). In 1985, he was appointed an Assistant Professor in Pediatrics and the Department of Biological Chemistry at the Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School. He was promoted in 1998 to the rank of Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School and Senior Investigator, Boston Children’s Hospital, Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine.

Dr. Carroll served as Director of the Harvard Graduate Program in Immunology from 2005 – 2016.  Early in his career, he was an American Arthritis Foundation Fellow and Investigator and later a recipient of a Pew Scholar award. He is a recipient of the 2016 Research Award by National Alliance for Mental Health.

A major focus of his research is understanding how autoreactive germinal centers are regulated; and how peripheral autoimmunity can affect neuropsychiatric behavior.  Moreover, his research includes understanding how changes in the regulation of the complement system in the brain can underlie diseases such as schizophrenia.

 

Elisabeth Carroll 

DPharm University Paul Sabatier Toulouse, France 

Administrative assistant  

Lab manager 

Email: Elisabeth.carroll@childrens.harvard.edu 

Postdoctoral Fellows 

Lea Simoni   

PhD in Life Sciences – Immunology, University of Strasbourg, France

Email: lea.simoni@childrens.harvard.edu   

I am studying the functional differences between C4A and C4B and its impact on autoimmunity susceptibility and development by analyzing transgenic mice models using flow cytometry and confocal microscopy.

 

Esra Yalcin 

PhD in Neuroscience from Istanbul Medipol University 

Email: esra.yalcin@childrens.harvard.edu 

My project is focused on understanding the effect of C4A copy number variation on schizophrenia development by correlating genetic analysis and synapse density analysis in a C4A humanized mouse model and postmortem brain tissue. 

 

Theo van den Broek 

M.D. – University Medical Center Utrecht UMCU, the Netherlands  

Ph.D in Immunology – University of Utrecht UU, the Netherlands 

Email: theodorus.vandenbroek@childrens.harvard.edu   

I am interested in the role of Tfh cells in the maturation process of self-reactive B-cells and epitope spreading using mixed BM chimeras and parabiosis.  I use a combination of approaches such as single cell, RNA seq flow cytometry and multi-photon intravital microscopy. 

 

Yingying Zhang 

PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University 

Email: yingying.zhang@childrens.harvard.edu   

By applying a newly developed technology called MERFISH (Multiplexed Error Robust Fluorescent in-situ Hybridization), I am interested in addressing the following questions: 1) which brain cell types express complement components? 2) where in the brain and when during development are they expressed? 3) how does C4 deficiency or C4 overexpression affect the transcriptional landscape in the mouse brain? The ultimate goal is to understand the role of C4 and the complement pathway during brain development and how mechanistically C4 overexpression can contribute to schizophrenia   

 

Carlos Castrillon 

PhD in Life Sciences from Universite Paris Diderot, France

Email: carlos.castrillon@childrens.harvard.edu   

During the immune and autoimmune responses, B cells in the germinal center undergo clonal expansion, mutation and selection by interacting with stromal cells and T cells. Germinal center B cells are selected by their capacity to bind foreign or self-antigens.

I’m interested in studying how much of the diversity of germinal center B cells translates into effective memory B cells and antibody-secreting plasma cells.

Graduate students 

Elliot Akama-Garren

MD/PhD student in Immunology. Harvard University

Email: Elliot.akama-garrenl@childrens.harvard.edu 

I’m interested in understanding how interactions between T cells and auto reactive B cells alter the balance between tolerance and autoimmunity.

Ernest Aw  

PhD student in Immunology. Harvard University 

Email: ernest.aw@childrens.harvard.edu   

I am interested in interferon-α (IFNα) dependent modulation of the central nervous system (CNS) and its resulting effects on behavioural phenotypes.

 

Technicians 

Minghe Ma 

Research technician 

Email: minghe.ma@childrens.harvard.edu   

 

Melis Yilmaz

Research Technician

Email: melis.yilmaz@childrens.harvard.edu 

 

 

Khristina Holscher

Research Technician

Email: Khristina.holscher@childrens.harvard.edu 

Former Lab Members

Jonatan Chang PhD. in Immunology Harvard University

Jessy Presumey ​Ph.D. in Immunology – University of Montpellier, France

Cees van der Poel PhD in Immunology – University of Utrecht, The Netherlands