Maria Pokrovskii, Ph.D.Sloan Kettering Institute
Maria Pokrovskii is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Frederic Geissmann in the Immunology Program at the Sloan Kettering Institute. She received her Ph.D. from New York University and her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.
In her doctoral studies under the supervision of Dr. Dan Littman, she focused on how the immune system manages the host’s relationship with its commensal microbiota. She identified a mechanism by which the immune system makes a friend/foe decision about which potentially useful bacteria to keep around based on the interplay of two types of T cell, which control whether the immune response to a microbe amplifies.
In her postdoctoral work, Pokrovskii wants to understand how DNA mutations that accumulate in the cells of the immune system affect normal development and disease. Specifically, she plans to study the role of these somatic mutations in microglia, the resident immune housekeepers of the brain. Microglial dysfunction is linked to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, but in most cases, the cause of this aberrant behavior is unknown.