Peterson Lab

The Peterson Lab

Graduate Students and Post Doctoral Fellows in the lab are working on research that is focused on the molecular underpinnings of autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and myositis. The laboratory utilizes genetic, biochemical, and primary human sample-based approaches to investigating the mechanisms whereby recently identified “risk” genes predispose to development of autoimmune disease. Dr. Peterson's group recently identified a role for Ptpn22, a potent “risk” gene for many autoimmune diseases, in the promotion of toll-like receptor signaling and type 1 interferon production. He is currently investigating the role of Ptpn22 in myeloid cell functions in systemic lupus and in responses to immunization, and is characterizing the molecular mechanism of Ptpn22 promotion of type 1 interferon signals.

View publications here.

Looking for current Peterson Lab Info or Graduate Students, Post Doctoral Fellows or Research Associates?  click here 


Graduate Students

Juliet Crabtree, Ph.D.


Program: MICaB
Defense Year: 2016
Advisor: Erik Peterson
Dissertation Title: "The Function PTPN22 and the Autoimmune Risk Variant LypW in Immune Responses to Vaccination."

Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow (Golenboch/Fitzgerald labs), U Mass Medical School, Worchester, MA 


Liangxing Zou, Ph.D.


Program: MICaB
Defense Year: 2008
Advisor: Erik Peterson
Dissertation Title: "Regulation of Autoimmunity and Integrin Signaling by Adaptor Proteins ADAP, PRAM-1 and C-CBL."

Current PositionBiostatistician, Boehringer Ingelheim, Ridgefield, CT

Post Doctoral Fellows

Shelly Tien, M.D., M.P.H.


Fellowship dates: 2013-15
Research Emphasis
:  Studied the immunologic responses in pregnancy.  Specifically, she was interested in whether genetic variations in the PTPN22 gene impart discrepancies in immunologic markers, as well as clinical outcomes, in pregnant women given the influenza vaccine.

Current Position: Maternal-Fetal Medicine Physician, Genesis Maternal Fetal MedicineTucson, Arizona


Research Associates

Yaya Wang, Ph.D.


Research Associate 
Laboratory of Erik Peterson

Research Emphasis/Publications: Research was focused on a functional genomics project examining the role of an autoimmunity-associated gene in host-pathogen interactions. Her work demonstrated that the human disease “risk” gene PTPN22 functions as a positive regulator of TLR signaling and TLR-induced type 1 interferon-dependent immunity, including host antiviral response and suppression of inflammation in arthritis and colitis. Publications

Current Position: MedImmune
Contact Info: