Maureen Su, MD

Maureen Su, MD

Associate Professor
Department of Pediatrics
22-044 LCCC

The Su Lab


The Su research group is interested in understanding the genetics of autoimmune diseases using both mouse models and patient samples. Our work is highly translational and aims to have direct relevance to human disease. One of our approaches is to study rare Mendelian autoimmunity syndromes in order to determine the contributions of a particular gene to developing autoimmunity. We have focused on Autoimmune Polyendocrinopathy Syndrome Type 1 (APS1 or APECED), a rare condition due to mutations in the Autoimmune Regulator (Aire) gene. We are interested in how Aire promotes tolerance and have utilized both APS1 mouse models and patient samples to understand the disease mechanisms underlying this condition.

Additionally, our group has focused on understanding how epigenetic mechanisms control the immune response. These mechanisms likely play important roles in Turner Syndrome, Kabuki Syndrome, and other conditions characterized by immune dysregulation.

Finally, we are interested in understanding how dysregulation of the immune system results in Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus, an autoimmune disease in which beta cells in pancreatic islets are destroyed. We are primarily using patient samples to study how the balance of suppressor and effector arms of the immune system become dysregulated to cause autoimmunity against beta cells.


Anderson, Mark S. and Su, Maureen A. Aire expands: new roles in immune tolerance. Nature Reviews Immunology. Accepted, 2016.

Cook, Kevin, Shpargel, Karl, Whitfield-Larry, Fatima, Starmer, Joshua, Allard, Denise E., Rager, Julia, Fry, Rebecca, Davenport, Marsha, Magnuson, Terry, Whitmire, Jason K.* and Su, Maureen A.* T Follicular Helper Cell-Dependent Clearance of a Persistent Virus Infection Requires T Cell Expression of the Histone Demethylase UTX. Immunity, 2015 Oct 20;43(4):703-14
*Shared senior authorship

Su, Maureen A. and Anderson, Mark S. Breaking through the central tolerance ceiling to unleash anticancer immune responses. Oncoimmunology, 2014;3(8):e950169.

Whitfield-Larry, Fatima, Felton, Jamie, Buse, John, Su, Maureen A., Myeloid-derived suppressor cells are increased in frequency but not maximally suppressive in peripheral blood of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus patients. Clinical Immunology, 2014 Jul;153(1):156-64.

Khan Imran S., Mouchess Maria L., Zhu Menglei, Conley Bridget, Fasano Kayla J., Hou Yafei, Fong Lawrence, Su Maureen A., and Anderson, Mark S. Enhancement of an anti-tumor immune response by transient blockade of central T cell tolerance. Journal of Experimental Medicine, May 5, 2014; 211(5): 761-8.

Waterfield Michael, Khan Imran, Cortez Jessica, Metzger Todd, Pollack Joshua, Erle David, Su Maureen A., Anderson Mark S., The transcriptional regulator Aire co-opts the repressive ATF7ip/MBD1 complex for the induction of immunotolerance. Nature Immunology, Mar 2014; 15(3): 258-65.

Sarantopoulos Stefanie, and Su Maureen A., Baff’ling autoantibodies. Journal of Clinical Investigation. Dec 2, 2013; 123(12): 5006-8.

Free Meghan, Bunch Donna O, Berg Elisabeth, Burkart Madelyn, Hogan Susan, Hu Yichun, Preston Gloria A, Jennette J. Charles, Falk Ronald, Su Maureen A., Patients with antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis have defective Treg cell function exacerbated by the presence of a suppression-resistant effector cell population. Arthritis and Rheumatism. Jul 2013; 65(7):1922-33.

Zeng Lily, Nagavalli Anil, Smith Collin Jamaal, Howard James, and Su Maureen A., Divergent effects of costimulation and inflammatory cytokine production in autoimmune peripheral neuropathy provoked by Aire deficiency. Journal of Immunology. Apr 15, 2013; 190(8): 3895-904. 

Zhu Menglei, Nagavalli Anil, Su Maureen A. Aire deficiency enhances TRP-1 specific immune rejection of melanoma. Cancer Research. Apr 1, 2013; 73(7): 2104-16.

 Su Maureen A.*, Davini Dan, Giang Karen, Fan Una, DeVoss Jason J., Johannes Kellsey P.A., Shum Anthony K., Valenzise Mariella, Veloni Antonella, Bour-Jordan Helene, and Anderson Mark S.* Defective Aire-dependent central tolerance to P0 predisposes to autoimmune peripheral neuropathy. Journal of Immunology. May 2012; 188: 4906-4912.
*Shared senior authorship.

Wang Yunqi, Su Maureen A, and Wan Yisong Y. An essential role of the transcription factor GATA-3 for the function of regulatory T cells. Immunity. Sep 2011; 35(3):337-48.

Anderson Mark S and Su Maureen A. Aire and T cell development. Current Opinions in Immunology, Apr 2011; 23(2):198-206.  

Complete list of publications


Department of Pediatrics (primary)
Inflammatory Diseases Institute
Center for Environmental Medicine Asthma and Lung Biology (CEMALB) 
Lineberger Cancer Center
Diabetes Center

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