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Microbiology & Cell Science

Microbiology & Cell Science

Howard Johnson

Emeritus Faculty

  • Honors and Awards
    • American Men of Science
    • Sigma XI
    • Financial Scholarchip, Senior Year of Undergraduate Studies
  • Education
    • Ph.D (1962) Department of Microbiology, Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Description of Research

    Our studies are focused on understanding the mechanism of action and modulation of cytokine function in the immune system. The knowledge gained from this is being used to develop anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antitumor compounds. Some of our most recent work involves regulators of immune function, called Suppressors of Cytokine Signaling (SOCS). For example, we have developed a small peptide mimetic of an important SOCS, SOCS-1, that inhibits JAK2 tyrosine kinase activity and protects mice against experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model of multiple sclerosis in humans. This tyrosine kinase inhibitor peptide, Tkip, also inhibits activation of the oncogenic transcription factor STAT3 in prostate cancer cells. These studies thus have important implications for inflammatory diseases as well as cancer.

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