OUR LAB

The Weinstein Lab is part of the Center for Immunity and Inflammation at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. The interplay between B and T cells in adaptive immunity is essential for production of anti-pathogen antibodies during infections and following vaccination. Similar pathways of T-B cell interactions likely lead to genesis of potentially pathogenic antibodies in autoimmunity. Mounting evidence suggests that in autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus), CD4+ T cells drive the generation of autoantibody-producing B cells via the germinal center (GC) reaction, with initiation of autoreactive B cell memory and long-lived plasma cell formation; however, the development and interaction of pathogenic T and B cells in comparison to the acute, pathogen-specific response are not well defined.

OUR FOCUS

Our research is primarily focused on understanding a subset of effector CD4 T cells, known as a T follicular helper (Tfh) cells, which interacts with germinal center B cells and extrafollicular B cells to generate antibody production in these B cells. Our lab combines advanced approaches in cellular immunology and genomics to investigate the dynamic genetic regulation and function of pathogenic T and B cells from early to advanced autoimmunity in comparison to those following pathogen challenge.

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Illustration provided courtesy of Cami Chen

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Confocal Image of germinal centers in lupus taken by the Weinstein Lab

 

PEOPLE

Assistant Professor, Chancellor Scholar

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Jason Weinstein

Jason has long-held an interest in immunology, particularly in understanding T-B collaboration in normal and autoimmune responses. As a graduate student at the University of Florida, he studied the mechanisms underlying the generation of autoreactive B and T lymphocyte responses in lupus.  As a postdoctoral fellow at Yale he examined the developmental requirements of T follicular helper cells, with the goal of applying these findings to autoimmunity.  Jason used state-of-the-art bioinformatics and functional genomics to identify novel Tfh-cell specific enhancer elements from chronically inflamed human tonsils. Jason then integrated bioinformatics and genomics tools with cellular immunology approaches to examine how Tfh cells regulate the GC response in acute viral and helminth infections, models of type 1 and type 2 immune responses, respectively, with the goal to then dissect chronic autoimmune models for similarities.

Graduate Student

 Lab Technician

Who we are

The Lab

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Assistant Professor, Chancellor Scholar

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Jason Weinstein

Jason has long-held an interest in immunology, particularly in understanding T-B collaboration in normal and autoimmune responses. As a graduate student at the University of Florida, he studied the mechanisms underlying the generation of autoreactive B and T lymphocyte responses in lupus.  As a postdoctoral fellow at Yale he examined the developmental requirements of T follicular helper cells, with the goal of applying these findings to autoimmunity.  Jason used state-of-the-art bioinformatics and functional genomics to identify novel Tfh-cell specific enhancer elements from chronically inflamed human tonsils. Jason then integrated bioinformatics and genomics tools with cellular immunology approaches to examine how Tfh cells regulate the GC response in acute viral and helminth infections, models of type 1 and type 2 immune responses, respectively, with the goal to then dissect chronic autoimmune models for similarities.

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Gina Sanchez

Graduate Student

Gina joined the Weinstein lab in April 2019 as a pre-doctoral student (MBGC track) to investigate the transcriptional regulation of GC B cells in the context of autoimmunity.  She comes from Stony Brook University with a background in developmental genetics.  In her spare time, she enjoys baking, photography, and reading.

 Lab Technician

Dan joined the Weinstein lab in September 2019 as an undergraduate and then full-time as a lab tech in August 2020. He is now investigating how potential pharmacological agents may be used to intervene with Tfh and GC B cell development and interaction in systemic autoimmunity. Dan graduated from New Jersey Institute of Technology with a B.A. in Biological Sciences.  In his free time, he enjoys mountain biking, ice hockey and hiking. 

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Dan Mayer

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Graduate Student

Eden joined the Weinstein lab family in June 2022 as a pre-doctoral student (I3 track) looking into the developmental requirements of T follicular helper cells and CD11c+ Tbet+ B cells in viral infection. She graduated from Binghamton University with a degree in Biochemistry where she studied  both GLT-1 transporters and amyloid beta plaque aggregation. Her hobbies include hiking, cooking, and playing with her dog.

Eden Hirsch

Graduate Student

Kyleigh joined the Weinstein lab in June 2022 as a MD/PhD candidate investigating markers of active disease in Lupus Erythematosus. She comes to the lab with a background in post-transcriptional regulation and cancer immunology from College of Charleston. Outside of the lab, Kyleigh enjoys traveling and speaking French.

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Kyleigh Petersen

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Graduate Student

Rebecca Francis

 Lab Mascot

Erratum joined the Weinstein lab in 2018 after Jason failed to properly review an order for a 2-liter bottle. Erratum is our fearless 20-liter mascot reminding us to double check our math.

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Erratum

Former Lab Members

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Krzysztof Zembrzuski                 
Medical Student

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Olivia Antao
Scientist at Regeneron

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Natasha Rasnick
College

 

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

 

CONTACT US

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Jason Weinstein

205 S. Orange Ave. 

Cancer Center G-1216

Newark, NJ. 07103

973-972-3161

jason.weinstein@rutgers.edu