DeKoter Lab

Welcome to the DeKoter Lab

The goal of our research is to identify genetic causes of diseases affecting the immune system, including primary immunodeficiency and leukemia. These diseases can be caused by mutation of genes encoding transcription factors. We are particularly interested in highly related transcription factors of the E26 transformation-specific (ETS) family called PU.1, Spi-B, and Spi-C. These proteins play diverse roles in regulating development and function of B lymphocytes and myeloid cells. We use a variety of methods to perform these studies including genetically modified mouse models, primary cell culture, chromatin immunoprecipitation, and gene expression analysis. Please follow the links to learn more about our current research activities.

Our research team currently includes two graduate students, one postdoctoral fellow, one research technician, three undergraduate students, and two high school students. Our laboratory regularly accepts undergraduates as summer students, honors thesis students, or scholars elective students. We are funded by operating grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada.

Photograph showing lab members

Picture taken August 19, 2022: Allanna Mackenzie, Bruno Rodrigues de Oliveira, Joshua Yi, Rodney DeKoter, Theodore Zhu, James Iasavitchous. Front Row: Heidi Rysan, Sheena Yi, Sherry Xu, Mia Sams.


Welcome to new students Maria, Chanpreet, Esther, and Gabby!

Congratulations to Allanna Mackenzie for her successful MSc defense on August 23.

We are grateful to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada for awarding us a 2023-2025 operating grant.

Congratulations to Leon Baronijan for being awarded the 2023 Gold Medal in Honours Microbiology & Immunology).

Congratulations to Joshua Yi for being awarded a 2023-2024 Canada Graduate Scholarship (Masters).

Recent publications

Xu et al, Spi-C and PU.1 counterregulate Rag1 and Ig kappa transcription to effect Vkappa-Jkappa recombination in small pre-B cells. Funded by NSERC 2022-03518 The Journal of Immunology, 2023

Raczkowski et al., The E26 transformation-specific family transcription factor Spi-C is dynamically regulated by external signals in B cells. Funded by NSERC 142258 Immunohorizons, 2022

Raczkowski and DeKoter, Lineage-instructive functions of the E26-transformation-specific-family transcription factor Spi-C in immune cell development and disease. Funded by NSERC 142258 and CIHR 106581 WIRES Mechanisms of Disease, 2021

Lim et al., Janus kinase mutations in mice lacking PU.1 and Spi-B drive B cell leukemia through reactive oxygen species-induced DNA damage. Funded by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada 569086 and CIHR 142258 Molecular and Cellular Biology, 2020

Current projects

We work on proteins called transcription factors and their role in gene regulation during B cell and macrophage development. Transcription factors such as PU.1, Spi-B, and Spi-C play roles in immune development and in diseases such as immune deficiency. Click here to learn more!

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