Eline Tjetske Luning Prak

faculty photo
Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Facility Director, Human Immunology Core, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Co-Director, Immunology Core, Center for AIDS Research, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Associate Director, Clinical Immunology Laboratory, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP)
Department: Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
405B Stellar-Chance Laboratories
422 Curie Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: (215) 746-5768
Fax: (215 ) 573-6317
Lab: (215) 746-5769
A.B. (Molecular Biology)
Princeton University , 1988.
University of Pennsylvania, 1996.
Ph.D. (Immunology)
University of Pennsylvania, 1996.
Post-Graduate Training
Resident in Clinical Pathology, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 1996-1999.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Genetics , University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 1998-1999.
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Description of Research Expertise

Research Interests
Dr. Luning Prak studies the antibody repertoire in health and disease.

Key words: antibody, antibody repertoire, V(D)J recombination, receptor editing, immunoglobulin, autoimmunity, clone tracking, minimal residual disease

Description of Research
Antibodies are proteins produced by B lymphocytes that are important for immune defense, but also serve as ubiquitous biomarkers for immunity and disease. The proliferation of B cells derived from a single precursor cell (i.e., a clone) can reflect a robust immune response, an autoimmune disease process or herald B cell malignancy. Each B cell usually makes only one kind of antibody and each person has about 100 billion different B cells (this collection is called the antibody "repertoire"). My lab studies the B cell repertoire by sequencing the DNA rearrangements that create antibodies. These DNA rearrangements are diverse; hence, when sufficiently similar rearrangements are observed, they are likely to derive from B cells that are clonally related. By studying the clonal landscape of the human B cell repertoire using next-generation sequencing (NGS), we hope to better understand how B cells mature and evolve in different organs in health and disease. We are also harnessing this knowledge to create clinical lab tests that identify and track B cell clones.

Rotation Projects
1. An anatomic atlas of large B cell clones in the human body. By sequencing antibody heavy chain variable regions in different tissues of organ donors, we can trace how large B cell clones are distributed in the body. So far, we have found two major networks of clones, one in the blood/bone marrow/spleen/lung and another in the gastrointestinal tract. We also observed that the B cells in the GI tract, and especially the jejunum, have more somatic hypermutations. One of the most interesting aspects of this work was the finding that some individuals, but not others, had very large standing B cell clones. We are focusing on defining the antigens drive the formation of these clones by capturing their antibodies and characterizing their antigenic specificity.

2. Ontogeny of human B cell subsets. How human B cell subsets, particularly memory B cells (MBCs), develop and evolve remains poorly understood. We have been studying human B cell subset maturation in the blood and have published several papers describing how B cell subsets shift with time, with age, and during autoreconstitution following chemotherapy or immunosuppression. In this ongoing project, we have been tracking individual clones through different B cell subsets sorted from blood, bone marrow and other human tissues. These studies reveal a surprising degree of clonal sharing between subsets, suggesting that differentiation is not unidirectional or that certain subsets have cells with self-renewal and/or maintenance capacities, or that our definitions of the subsets are flawed.

3. Clone tracking and B cell subset analysis in autiommunity. Our longstanding hypothesis, based upon our work and the work of others, is that patients with certain forms of autoimmunity harbor pathogenic expanded B cell clones. We hope to define pathogenic B cell clones that expand during disease flares and potentially gain insights into their subset of origin and manner of tolerance breakdown, building upon our ongoing work in autoimmunity. In this ongoing project, we are tracking clonal lineages in blood and in some cases tissues from individuals with different autoimmune diseases including systemic lupus erythematosus and type 1 diabetes.

4. Clone tracking in malignancy. We are interested in developing and validating robust next generation sequencing (NGS) based methods to identify and track malignant and non-malignant B cell clones and lymphocyte subsets in patients with hematologic malignancies including multiple myeloma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, acute lymphoblastic leukemia and other malignant and pre-malignant conditions. In addition to developing minimal residual disease NGS assays, we are studying the non-malignant B and T cell repertoires in cancer patients. Features of the non-malignant immune repertoire, such as its diversity and degree of somatic hypermutation, may inform immune therapies and provide prognostic information.

Lab and core lab personnel:
Wenzhao Meng, PhD
Dora Chen
Aaron Rosenfeld
Michelle Xu
Patricia Tsao, MD, PhD
Ling Zhao, MD, PhD
Yang Zhu Du, MD, PhD
Ping Wei, MD
Zheng Cui, PhD
Zhenyu Huang, MD, PhD
Yinan Lu
Hongen Wang

Description of Other Expertise

Research advisor to students at all levels

Mentoring of MSTP students, senior residents, fellows and junior faculty

Scientific consultation-- providing researchers and clinicians with assistance in experimental design, appropriate immunology tests to support their research or clinical objectives

Description of Itmat Expertise

Dr. Luning Prak studies the antibody repertoire in health and disease.

Selected Publications

Japp, A.S., Meng, W., Rosenfeld, A.M., Perry, D.J., Thirawatananond, P., Bacher, R.L., Liu, C., Gardner, J.S., Atkinson, M.A., Kaestner, K.H., Brusko, T.M., Naji, A., E. T. Luning Prak^ and M. R. Betts^ (^co-senior authors). : TCR+BCR+ dual-expressing cells and their associated public BCR clonotype are not enriched in type 1 diabetes. Cell 184(3): 827-839, February 2021.

Fu, J., Zuber, J., Shonts, B., Obradovic, A., Want, Z., Frangaj, K., Meng, W., Rosenfeld, A.M., Waffarn, E.E., Liou, P., Lau, S-P, Savage, T.M., Yang, S., Rogers, K., Danzl, N.M., Ravella, S., Satwani, P., Iuga, A., Ho, S-H, Griesemer, A., Shen, Y., Luning Prak, E.T., Martinez, M., Kato, T. and M. Sykes.: Lymphohematopoietic Graft-versus-Host Responses Promote Mixed Chimerism in Patients Receiving Intestinal Transplantation. Journal of Clinical Investigation in press, 2021.

de Mattos Barbosa, M.G., Liu, H., Huynh, D., Shelley, G., Keller, E.T., Emmer, B.T., Sherman, E., Ginsburg, D., Kennedy, A.A., Tai, A.W., Wobus, C., Mirabeli, C., Lanigan, T.M., Samaniego, M., Meng, W., Rosenfeld, A.M., Luning Prak, E.T., Platt, J.L. and M. Cascalho: IgV somatic mutation of human anti-SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibodies governs neutralization and breadth of reactivity. JCI Insight in press, 2021.

Weisel, N.M., Weisel, F., Farber, D.L., Borghesi, L.A., Shen, Y., Ma, W., Luning Prak, E.T. and M.J. Shlomchik: Comprehensive analyses of B cell compartments in the human body reveal novel subsets and a gut resident memory phenotype. Blood 136(24): 2774-2785, December 2020.

Kuri-Cervantes, L., Pampena, M.B., Meng, W., Rosenfeld, A.M., Ittner, C.A.G., Weisman, A.R., Agyekum, R.S., Mathew, D., Baxter, A.E., Vella, L.A., Kuthuru, O., Apostolidis, S.A., Bershaw, L., Dougherty, J., Greenplate, A.R., Pattekar, A., Kim, J., Han, N., Gouma, S., Weirick, M.E., Arevalo, C.P., Bolton, M.J., Goodwin, E.C., Anderson, E.M., Hensley, S.E., Jones, T.K., Mangalmurti, N.S., Luning Prak, E.T., Wherry, E.J., Meyer, N.J. and M.R. Betts: Comprehensive mapping of immune perturbations associated with severe COVID-19. Science Immunology 5(49), July 2020.

Johnson, J.L., Rosenthal, R.L., Knox, J.J., Myles, A., Narakikian, M.S., Madej, J., Kostiv, M., Rosenfeld, A.M., Meng, W., Hensley, S.E., Christensen, S.R., Yewdell, J., Canada, D.H., Zhu, J., McDermott, A.B., Dori, Y., Itkin, M., Wherry, E.J., Pardi, N., Weissman, D., Naji, A., Luning Prak, E.T., Betts, M.R. and M.P. Cancro.: The Transcription Factor T-bet Resolves Memory B cell Subsets with Distinct Tissue Distributions and Antibody Specificities in Mice and Humans. Immunity 52(5): 842-855, May 2020.

Ritz, C., Meng, W., Stanley, N., Baroja, M., Xu, C., Yan, P., Huang, A., Hausler, R., Nicholas, P., Fan, J.M., Lieberman, D., Carreno, B., Luning Prak, E.T., Olson, T. and D. Babushok: Post-vaccination graft dysfunction/aplastic anemia relapse with massive clonal expansion of autologous CD8+ lymphocytes. Blood Advances 4(7): 1378-1382, April 2020.

Horvath, S., Tsao, P.Y., Huang, Z-Y, Zhao, L., Du, Y., Sammel, M.D., Luning Prak, E.T. and Schreiber, C.A.: The concentration of fetal red blood cells in first-trimester pregnant women undergoing uterine aspiration is below the calculated threshold for Rh sensitization. Contraception 102(1): 1-6, March 2020.

Belman, JP, Meng, W, Wang, HY, Li, J., Strauser, HT, Rosenfeld, AM, Zhang, Q, Luning Prak, ET and MA Wasik: Dramatic increase in gene mutational burden after transformation of follicular lymphoma into TdT+ B-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma/leukemia. Cold Spring Harbor Molecular Case Studies 6(1), February 2020.

Pillai, V., Muralidharan, K., Meng, W., Bagashev, A., Oldridge, D., Rosenthal, J., Van Arnam, J., Melenhorst, J., Mohan, D., DiNofia, A., Luo, M., Cherian, S., Fromm, J., Wertheim, G., Thomas-Tikhonenko, A., Paessler, M., June, C., Luning Prak, E.T., Bhoj, V., Grupp, S., Maude, S. and S. Rheingold: CAR T cell therapy is effective for CD19-dim B-lymphoblastic leukemia but is impacted by prior blinatumomab therapy. Blood Advances 3(22): 3539-3549, November 2019.

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Last updated: 03/17/2021
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