Dr. Julien is interested in the structure/function study of the B cell receptor and critical co-receptors on the B cell surface.
The B cell possesses several unique surface molecules that are involved in regulating B cell development and function, communicating with the extracellular environment, and interpreting the BCR signal. Several of these molecules are critical to humoral immunity and have mostly remained structurally uncharacterized.
Dr. Julien’s laboratory focuses on the characterization of these B cell receptors by using a combination of biochemical, biophysical, immunological and structural techniques. The study of their interactions with cognate molecules, therapeutics and pathogens is also an active area of research in the laboratory.
A better understanding of the structure of these B cell surface molecules, as well as those that propagate intracellular signals will allow careful modulation of their function and will be instrumental for vaccine adjuvant research looking to elicit protective antibodies against variable pathogens. It will also provide unique sites to specifically target deregulated B cells in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL), as well as in autoimmune diseases such as Type-1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus.
You can also find more information on Dr. Julien's lab website.