Assistant Professor, Microbial Infection and Immunity
792 Biomedical Research Tower (BRT)
460 W 12th Ave, Columbus OH 43210

Membership:  Infectious Diseases Institute, Pelotonia Institute for Immuno-Oncology

Research Interests

B cells produce antibodies and are crucial for the adaptive immune response against pathogens. Upon recognizing antigen via B cell receptors, the “activated” naïve B cells proliferate and differentiate into germinal center B cells, plasma cells, and memory B cells. Moreover, B cells mature their antibodies by somatic hypermutation and class switch recombination. Previously we have shown that the B cell antibody response is regulated by the epigenetic enzyme family TET (Ten-Eleven Translocation; TET1, TET2, TET3). TET enzymes function to demethylate DNA by oxidizing 5-methylcytosine (5mC) into 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) and other modified bases. B cells deficient in TET enzymes have defective antibody response and aberrant cell differentiation. Furthermore, consistent with the observed mutation of TET2 in human patients with diffuse large B cell lymphoma, Tet-deficient mouse B cells exhibit dysregulated cell proliferation and eventually transform into cancer cells.

The Lio Lab is interested in understanding how the B cell responses are regulated at the transcriptional and epigenetic levels, with a focus on DNA modifications. By integrating immunological techniques with multi-omics approaches (single-cell/bulk sequencings, CRISPR screens, and locus-specific proteomics), we are currently investigating: 1) How nutrients and/or metabolites affect B cell immunity by influencing the activity of epigenetic enzymes; 2) How TET and other epigenetic regulators collaborate with transcription factors to regulate B cell function, differentiation, and transformation. Our research program and findings may provide novel strategies to achieve desirable B cell antibody response by modulating the activity of epigenetic enzymes and may reveal therapeutic targets for B cell malignancies.

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740 Biomedical Research Tower (BRT)
460 W 12th Ave, Columbus OH 43210


Omar Abdouni, Research Assistant,
Heng-Yi Chen, Post Doctoral Scholar,
Fang-Yun Lay, Research Associate,