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Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine

Patricia A. Fitzgerald-Bocarsly, Ph.D.

Vice Chair Faculty Dev. Research

Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine

New Jersey Medical School (NJMS)
Room C567

Phone: (973) 972-5233

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Dr. Fitzgerald-Bocarsly received her undergraduate degree from UCLA, her PhD from Boston University and her post-doctoral training at the Sloan Kettering Institute for Cancer Research. She is Vice Chair for Basic Science of the Department and Scientific Director of the Flow Cytometry and Immunology Core Laboratory at the NJMS. Her research focuses on the human innate immune response to viral infections, with a focus on plasmacytoid dendritic cells. Her lab was among the very first to describe these cells and the first to describe their dysregulation in the context of HIV infection.
Her current research focuses on the signaling pathways that lead to the production of type I and type III interferons in human pDC, how these cells differ in different anatomical locations, and how they change in the context of aging with and without HIV infection as well as the immunometabolism of these cells in these different immune compartments and disease states.



Ph.D., 1980, Boston University




Relevant Publications:

Dai J, Megjugorac N, Amrute S and Fitzgerald-Bocarsly P. IRF-7 Signaling in virus-induced activation of plasmacytoid dendritic cells. J. Immunol., 173:1535-1548.
Ryan LK, Diamond G, Amrute S, Feng Z, Weinberg A and Fitzgerald-Bocarsly P. Detection of HBD1 peptide in peripheral blood mononuclear cell subpopulations by intracellular flow cytometry. Peptides 24:1785-1794, 2003.
Megjugorac N, Young H, Amrute S., Olshalsky S, and Fitzgerald-Bocarsly P. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells produce chemokines upon stimulation with herpes simplex virus. J. Leuk. Biol. 75:504-514, 2004.
Izaguirre A, Barnes B, Amrute S, Yeow W-S, Megjugorac N, Dai J, Feng D, Chung E, Pitha P, and Fitzgerald-Bocarsly P. Comparative analysis of IRF and IFN-alpha expression in human plasmacytoid and monocyte derived dendritic cells. J. Leuk. Biol. 74:1125-1138, 2003.
Gibson SJ. Lindh JM. Riter TR. Gleason RM. Rogers LM. Fuller AE. Oesterich JL. Gorden KB. Qiu X. McKane SW. Noelle RJ. Miller RL. Kedl RM. Fitzgerald-Bocarsly P. Tomai MA. Vasilakos JP. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells produce cytokines and mature in response to the TLR7 agonists, imiquimod and resiquimod. Cellular Immunology. 218:74-86, 2002.
Fitzgerald-Bocarsly, P. Natural interferon producing Cells, the plasmacytoid dendritic cells. Biotechniques 33: S16-S29, 2002.
Feldman S, Stein D., Amrute S, Denny T, Garcia Z, Kloser P, Sun W and Fitzgerald-Bocarsly P. Decreased IFN-alpha production in HIV infected patients correlates with numerical and functional deficiencies in circulating type 2 dendritic cell precursors. Clinical Immunology 101:201-210, 2001.
Siegal F, Fitzgerald-Bocarsly P., Holland, B. and Shodell M. Interferon-a generation and immune reconstitution during antiretroviral therapy for human immunodeficiency virus infection. AIDS 15:1603-1612, 2001.
Siegal, FP, Kadowaki, N., Shodell, M., Fitzgerald-Bocarsly, P, Shah, K., Ho, S., Antonenko, S and Liu, Y-J. The nature of the principal type 1 interferon-producing cells in human blood. Science 284: 1835-1837, 1999.


Current Research

My laboratory is interested in studying both the basic and clinical biology of plasmactyoid dendritic cells (PDC), also known as the "natural interferon-alpha producing cells". These cells are the primary cells in the body that produce IFN in response to viral stimulation, imidizaquinilones and CpG. The PDC are important not only in the innate immune response, but also link the innate and adaptive responses by stimulating T cell resonses. We are studying basic aspects about the PDC including their phenotype, tissue distribution, mechanisms of activation (e.g. toll-like receptors, C-type lectins, IRF signaling pathways), and interaction with other cell types as well as their role and regulation in infectious diseases including HIV. In addition, recent studies have shown that PDC migrate into certain cancer tissues, and we are interested in studying the role and regulation of these cells in that setting.



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