David Stephen Pisetsky
David Stephen Pisetsky

David Pisetsky

Professor of Medicine

Overview

Studies in my laboratory concern the immunological properties of DNA as related to two main topics: 1) the induction of anti-DNA responses in systemic lupus erythematosus; and 2) the stimulation of innate immunity by bacterial DNA. These topics are closely linked since we have established novel disease models in which lupus-like illness can be induced in normal mice by bacterial DNA under conditions in which mammalian DNA is inactive. This model has been useful in elucidating mechanisms of DNA antigen drive in autoimmunity.

To pursue these studies, our laboratory conducts investigations in the following areas: 1) specificity of anti-DNA for epitopes on mammalian and bacterial DNA; 2) molecular analysis of murine monoclonal anti-DNA antibodies; 3) histopathological analyses of DNA-immunized mice; 4) in vitro analysis of proliferation, antibody production and cytokine expression in human and murine immune cells; and 5) analysis of DNA binding to cell surface molecules on B cells, T cells and macrophages. Results of these studies have allowed identification of at least two structural motifs that are immunoactive. We are also exploring the impact of chemical modifications of the DNA backbone.

In addition to work on the immunology of DNA, I am also involved in clinical trials related to new immunomodulatory agents in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis as well as serological markers of disease activity.

The areas of research for which I am known nationally are anti-DNA antibodies, systemic lupus erythematosus and immunological properties of DNA. I have written textbook chapters and reviews on all these subjects.

Positions

Professor of Medicine in the School of Medicine

1990 School of Medicine

Professor of Integrative Immunobiology in the School of Medicine

1994 School of Medicine

Member of the Duke Human Vaccine Institute in the School of Medicine

2014 School of Medicine

Member of the Duke Cancer Institute in the School of Medicine

1978 School of Medicine

Education

Ph.D. 1972

1972 Yeshiva University, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

M.D. 1973

1973 Yeshiva University, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Intern, MEDICINE

1974 Yale University, School of Medicine

Resident, MEDICINE

1974 Yale University, School of Medicine

Publications, Grants & Awards

Offices & Contact

VA Med Ctr
Durham, NC
VA Med Ctr
Durham, NC
27705