Sonia Laurie, Ph.D.

Lineberger Cancer Center

Education

Emory University

Mentors

Jon Serody, M.D.

Biography

I received my PhD in Immunology and Molecular Pathogenesis from Emory University in Atlanta, GA. While at Emory, I trained in the Department of Surgery at the Emory Transplant Center under Dr. Mandy L. Ford. My thesis work contributed to basic and translational aspects to understand transplant biology and immune tolerance to allografts, where I helped to identify the mechanism(s) by which selective CD28 blockade alters donor-reactive T cell programming by shifting the balance of costimulatory and coinhibitory molecule expression. My dissertation work was supported by a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from the NIAID.

I am now a member of Jonathan Serody’s lab at the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, where I am studying the role of type II innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s) in the lower gastrointestinal tract in graft-versus-host-disease following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Specifically, my work uses ChiP-, ATAC-, and FAIRE-sequencing to determine how inflammatory cytokines alter the epigenetic plasticity of ILC2s.

As a SPIRE postdoctoral scholar, I am excited to expand my education portfolio, and would like to develop a career in undergraduate teaching and research at a minority-serving institution. I am interested in education research and would like to integrate undergraduate, graduate, post-doctoral, and faculty level experiences to improve mentorship and career outcomes. I believe that it is only through broadening experiences in scientific training, and expanding the training pool to include diversity in race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation will we produce the next-generation of productive researchers that will enhance the research capacity of the United States.