Biomedical Research Education & Training
Faculty Member

McGirt, Laura Young, M.D.
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine

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Phone Number: 615-825-1049

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McGirt, Laura's picture
Academic history
B.S., Duke University
M.D., Duke University School of Medicine
Intern, John Hopkins School of Medicine
Fellowship, John Hopkins School of Medicine
Resident, John Hopkins School of Medicine
Chief Resident, John Hopkins School of Medicine

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MCN A2310A

MCN A2310A Division of Dermatology 37232-2600

Research Keywords
mycosis fungoides, cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, microRNA, dermatology, skin cancer,Cancer,Malignancy

Patient Care Specialty

Research Specialty
Pathogenesis and diagnosis/prognosis of Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma

Research Description
We are interested in elucidating the oncogenic mechanisms by which cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) develops. To address this, we are studying altered microRNA (miRNA) in CTCL. miRNA are small, 18-22bp, non-coding single stranded RNA that most commonly cause inhibition of translation through the binding of the 3' UTR of its target mRNA. We have identified specific miRNA that are up and down regulated in CTCL and amelioration of their aberrant expression has led to slowed growth in CTCL cell lines. We are currently identifying the regulatory processes as well as the targeted genes of these altered miRNA and exploring what role they play in CTCL.

We are utilizing these miRNA as potential diagnostic and prognostic markers in the blood of early and advanced stage CTCL. We will be enrolling subjects and isolating PBMC from subjects with all stages of CTCL. The subjects will be followed longitudenally and PBMC isolated yearly for a minimum of 5 years or until they are lost to follow up. miRNA signatures will be compared between early stage CTCL without disease progression, early CTCL with progression, and advanced disease.

Additionally, we are interested in the identification of genetic mutations (translocations, insertion/deletions) that are found in CTCL. To date, there have not been any mutations found in a majority of CTCL and often the mutations identified (eg. p53) have an ultraviolet induced signature which likely developed from the commonly utilized ultraviolet-based therapy. We have initiated a whole-genome sequencing project and will shortly be starting validation of identified mutations in CTCL.

Clinical Interests
Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, cutaneous oncology


Postdoctoral Position Available

Postdoctoral Position Details

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