Thomas M. Sajda.

Thomas M. Sajda

Department

Microbiology & Immunology

Thesis

Understanding the role of the humoral response in pemphigus vulgaris

Residency

Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Rochester

Undergraduate Education

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Georgia

Thesis Advisor

Pemphigus vulgaris (PV) is a potentially fatal, prototypical organ-specific autoimmune skin-blistering disease. Antibodies directed at desmosomal components, mainly Desmoglein 3 and 1, cause loss of cell adhesion resulting in the formation of flaccid blisters.  Recently, it has become clear that patients produce antibodies directed at many other targets, but their role in disease is currently unknown. We hypothesize that the specificity of patients' autoantibody profiles underlie the disease heterogeneity seen in PV. Characterization of the population and cellular effects of PV associated autoantibodies will lead to an increased understanding of disease pathogenesis, resulting in improved prognostic capabilities and the identification of novel therapeutic targets

Publications

  • Sajda T., Hazelton J., Patel M., Seiffert-Sinha K. Steinman L., Robinson W.H., Haab B.B., Sinha A.A. Multiplexed autoantigen microarrays identify HLA as a key driver of anti-desmoglein and -non-desmoglein reactivities in Pemphigus. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2016; 113(7):1859-64

Professional/Educational Meetings Attended & Abstracts Presented

  • “Autoantibodies directed against thyroid peroxidase may contribute to blister formation in pemphigus vulgaris”. Abstract. T Sajda, K Seiffert-Sinha and AA Sinha. Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Volume 134 (2014).
  • “Anti-thyroid peroxidase antibodies induce similar effects on keratinocyte cell signaling as antibodies directed against desmoglein 3”. Abstract. T Sajda, K Seiffert-Sinha and AA Sinha. Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Volume 135 (2015).
  • “Anti-thyroid peroxidase antibodies demonstrate functional effects on keratinocyte signaling and cell-adhesion in Pemphigus vulgarism.  Abstract. T Sajda, K Seiffert-Sinha and AA Sinha. Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Volume 135 (2016).

Awards/Honors

  • Virginia Barnes Travel Award

Medical School Activities

  • Lighthouse Clinic Volunteer