Associate Director / Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard
Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard 400 Technology Square Cambrige, MA 02139
Since joining the Ragon Institute in 2016, Batista’s focus has turned further toward applied immunology, and his recent work involves the role of B-cell metabolism, including autophagy and mitochondrial metabolic reprogramming, in driving B-cell response. He is the recipient of the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award, a fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.
Dr. Batista’s lab is interested in both the cellular and the molecular events that lead to the activation of B cells. They want to understand how these events affect the ability of B cells to produce antibodies. To do this, they work both in vivo and in vitro by combining state-of-the-art imaging technology with biochemistry and genetic models. For example, following B cells in vivo leads to a better understanding of where and when they are activated (Carrasco & Batista 2007; Gaya et al. 2015).
Also, by tracking single B cell receptor (BCR) molecules, they have shown how the cortical cytoskeleton network regulates receptor signalling (Mattila et al. 2013; Treanor et al. 2011; Treanor et al. 2010). Similarly, by studying actin regulators such as Cdc42 or Nck, the lab has shown that they play a major role in B cell activation and antibody production (Burbage et al. 2014; Castello et al. 2013).
The members of Dr. Batista’s lab have therefore been working and will continue to work toward a clearer understanding of B cell activation and antibody production at a cellular and molecular level with their innovative approach – this knowledge will aid everyone in the fight against infectious diseases and cancer.