Mark Anderson, MD, PhD

Robert B. and Michelle M. Friend Endowed Chair in Diabetes Research Professor of Medicine

Dr. Anderson studies a human autoimmune syndrome called Autoimmune Polyglandular Syndrome Type 1 (APS1 or APECED), classically manifested by an autoimmune attack directed at multiple endocrine organs. This disease is inherited in a monogenic autosomal recessive fashion and the defective gene is called Aire (for autoimmune regulator). Aire knockout mice, like their human counterparts, develop an autoimmune disease that is targeted to multiple organs. He and others have determined that Aire plays an important role in immune tolerance by promoting the expression of many self proteins in specialized antigen presenting cells in the thymus called medullary epithelial cells.