Derya Unutmaz

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Source: The Jackson Labs

Derya Unutmaz, MD, is a professor of Immunology at The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine and the Principal Investigator for Jackson Laboratory ME/CFS Collaborative Research Center, Farmington, Connecticut, US.[1]

Education and training[edit | edit source]

The Turkish-born Unutmaz earned his medical degree at Marmara University Medical School in Istanbul.[2] He completed postdoctoral appointments in the immunology department of Novartis in Basel, Switzerland; the Immunobiology Research Institute of Novartis and Chiron Corporation in Siena, Italy; and the Skirball Institute of New York University.

Career[edit | edit source]

He joined the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine faculty in 1999 as assistant professor of microbiology and immunology, rising to associate professor. In 2006 he moved to the New York University School of Medicine as an associate professor of microbiology, later adding appointments to the departments of medicine and pathology. Before he joined The Jackson Laboratory, he worked at the New York University School of Medicine in Manhattan, where he was professor of microbiology, pathology and medicine.[3]

The author of 104 research papers,[4] Unutmaz has contributed to seven awarded and pending patents.[5]

Research background[edit | edit source]

Unutmaz has done extensive work in studying the molecular mechanisms of T cells and their involvement in HIV infection and other chronic inflammatory diseases in humans.

“My research has focused on understanding what HIV ‘knows’ about the immune system and how HIV infection leads to disease. We are now using the knowledge we acquired from studying HIV to other chronic inflammatory disorders and to understand the aging of the immune system. JAX [The Jackson Laboratory] will be an ideal institution to continue our studies at the genomics level and translate them for clinical use.”[6]

His laboratory’s discoveries include the role of cytokines (proteins produced by immune cells) in making CD4+ T cells more vulnerable to HIV infection; and how HIV preferentially infects and perturbs human T cell subsets, including NKT, regulatory T (Tregs) and IL-17-secreting (Th17) cells.

ME/CFS research[edit | edit source]

In June of 2016, Unutmaz received five years of funding — totaling $3,281,515 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases — to find better ways to diagnose and treat ME/CFS. Unumatz will screen blood samples for potential immunological biomarkers of the disease, and using the results to develop better diagnostic tools and personalized treatments. His work will focus on Long non-coding RNA.[7][8]

In 2017, Unutmaz and his lab was awarded a five-year grant totaling $10,553,732[9] from the National Institutes of Health for one of the country's first Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) Collaborative Research Centers (CRC). This CRC will work in conjunction with Drs. Lucinda Bateman and Suzanne Vernon at the Bateman Horne Center of Salt Lake City, Utah; Dr. Xudong Yao at the University of Connecticut; Dr. Alison Motsinger-Reif at North Carolina State University and, a San Francisco-based company.[10] The CRC's focus will be on the topological mapping of immune, microbiota, metabolomic and clinical phenotypes in ME/CFS.[11]

Research studies[edit | edit source]

  • 2019, Perturbation of effector and regulatory T cell subsets in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)[12] - (Full text)
  • 2020, Hemodynamics during the 10-minute NASA Lean Test: evidence of circulatory decompensation in a subset of ME/CFS patients[13] - (Full text)

Talks and interviews[edit | edit source]

Online presence[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

Learn more[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "The Unutmaz Lab". The Jackson Laboratory. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  4. "My Bibliography - My NCBI Collection". Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  5. "ininventor:"Derya Unutmaz" - Google Search". Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  6. Peterson, Joyce. "Immunologist, HIV expert Derya Unutmaz, M.D., joins Jackson Laboratory faculty". The Jackson Laboratory. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  7. Peterson, Joyce. "$3.3 million federal grant to fund JAX chronic fatigue syndrome research". The Jackson Laboratory. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  8. "NIAID funding to Jackson Laboratory researcher to investigate chronic fatigue syndrome". EurekAlert!. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  9. Peterson, Joyce Dall'Acqua. "NIH awards $10.6M research center grant to The Jackson Laboratory for study of chronic fatigue syndrome". The Jackson Laboratory. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  10. "NIH announces centers for myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome research". National Institutes of Health (NIH). September 27, 2017. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  11. "Project Information - NIH RePORTER - NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools Expenditures and Results". Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  12. Karhan, Ece; Gunter, Courtney L; Ravanmehr, Vida; Horne, Meghan; Kozhaya, Lina; Renzullo, Stephanie; Placek, Lindsey; George, Joshy; Robinson, Peter N; Vernon, Suzanne D.; Bateman, Lucinda; Unutmaz, Derya (December 26, 2019). "Perturbation of effector and regulatory T cell subsets in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)". Biorxiv. doi:10.1101/2019.12.23.887505.
  13. Lee, Jihyun; Vernon, SuzanneD.; Jeys, Patricia; Ali, Weam; Campos, Andrea; Unutmaz, Derya; Yellman, Brayden; Bateman, Lucinda (December 2020). "Hemodynamics during the 10-minute NASA Lean Test: evidence of circulatory decompensation in a subset of ME/CFS patients". Journal of Translational Medicine. 18 (1): 314. doi:10.1186/s12967-020-02481-y. ISSN 1479-5876. PMC 7429890. PMID 32799889.