CTSI Distinguished Seminars feature important topics in clinical and translational science presented by outstanding, and sometimes world-renowned, speakers.
Through the Seminar Series, UB's Clinical and Translational Science Institute is partnering with the five health sciences schools and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center to sponsor a round of visiting scholars in the forefront of their respective disciplines. The goal is to expose faculty, trainees and students to various pathways in clinical and translational research.
Professor of Medicine and Associate Dean for Medical Student Research,
Autoimmune diseases have long been postulated to be triggered by infections with a diverse cadre of pathogens, including bacteria such as streptococci, viruses including HIV, EBV and dengue, and other microorganisms.
The scale of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has generated large cohorts of patients and extensive banks of biospecimens which has created an unprecedented opportunity to test the hypothesis that a specific pathogen can induce new autoimmune manifestations or can exacerbate pre-existing autoimmunity.
The Utz lab has used multiplexed protein microarrays to characterize autoantibodies in acute COVID-19, long COVID (termed post acute sequelae of COVID-19, PASC), infections with other respiratory pathogens, and in vaccine responses. Anti-cytokine antibodies (ACA) are commonly observed in severe COVID-19 and in pre-pandemic samples from patients with ARDS. A subset of ACA block cytokine signaling by preventing binding to their cognate receptors.
This talk will focus on the ever-expanding link between autoimmunity and infection.
Paul J. (“P.J.”) Utz, MD, Professor of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, completed a BS in Biology at King's College, Wilkes-Barre, PA, and concurrently attended the Roswell Park Summer program in 1985 and 1986 and received the Sidney Farber Research Award. Dr. Utz completed his MD degree at Stanford University School of Medicine in 1991, a Short Track Residency and Fellowship in Medicine and Rheumatology at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston in 1996 and was an Instructor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School. He joined Stanford University School of Medicine as an assistant professor in 1999, was promoted to associate professor in 2005 and Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Immunology at Stanford University School of Medicine in 2012. He was appointed as the Associate Dean for Medical Student Research and Scholarship at Stanford University.
Dr. Utz has a longstanding commitment to student and faculty training and has been the Program Director of the Stanford EXPLORE Summer Students Program since 2007, the associate director of the Medical Scientist Training Program at Stanford University since 2007 and the director since 2019. He was appointed Associate Dean for Medical Student Research and Scholarship at Stanford University School of Medicine in 2018.
Dr. Utz studies autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), scleroderma, myositis, primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), Sjögren's disease, type I diabetes (T1D), vasculitis, multiple sclerosis (MS) and mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD). In addition to trying to better understand the pathogenic mechanisms involved in autoimmunity, the Utz lab is interested in developing bench-to-bedside technologies, including multiplexed diagnostics and therapeutics, for human immune diseases. The Utz lab has developed novel technologies including protein arrays, peptide arrays, EpiTOF, HIT, lysate arrays and Intel arrays. His lab has actively pursued research in the area of influenza vaccine responses, as well as therapeutic vaccines for autoimmunity. More recently his lab has pivoted to research on COVID-19, vaccines, emerging pathogens, and long COVID (PASC).
In addition to his primary role as a physician scientist, Dr. Utz is Associate Dean of Medical Student Research, and Director Emeritus of the Stanford Medical Scientist Training Program. He founded and directs the Stanford Institutes of Medicine Research (SIMR) Program for economically disadvantaged and/or underrepresented high school students, which has hosted almost 1,000 students in labs over 23 years. Professor Utz’s motivation for starting SIMR was his participation in Roswell Park’s summer program during the summers of 1985 and 1986 — two summers that transformed his career plans to become a practicing physician scientist.
Dr. Utz is available to meet with faculty and research teams before his presentation. This will be a wonderful opportunity to share your work and foster collaboration between universities. Individual meetings are on a first-come, first-served basis.