Invited Faculty
  • Laurence Morel
    UT Health San Antonio
  • Laurence Morel obtained her PhD in Neurosciences from the University of Aix-Marseille (France). She trained as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Florida in immunogenetics, where she started to work on the genetic basis of lupus in mouse models. She was appointed to a faculty position in the department of Pathology, Immunology, and Laboratory Medicine at UF in 1999, where she rose to the rank of Tenured Professor and Vice Chair for Research and Academic Affairs until 2022. She recently became a Tenured Professor holding the Zachry Foundation Distinguished Chair in Microbiology and Immunology and the Chair of the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics department at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Santonio (UTHSCSA) in San Antonio, Texas.
    Her research is centered on the mechanisms of lupus pathogenesis using mouse models as well as patients’ samples. She has developed an expertise in spontaneous and induced mouse models of this disease, and how each of them is best suited to specific investigations into lupus pathogenesis.
    She has developed a congenic approach to identify lupus susceptibility genes in the mouse. Her current focus in this area is on a transcription factor, Pbx1, and how it regulates Treg cell homeostasis in health and disease.
    A more recent research interest is the metabolic determinants of lupus phenotypes in CD4+ T cells and B cells, with a focus on glucose metabolism, and how it sustains autoimmune responses comparatively to responses to immunization. She is also investigating the role of iron metabolism and ferroptosis in lupus nephritis, with a focus on proximal tubular epithelial cells.
    She is also investigating the role of the gut microbiome in lupus pathogenesis, including the interplay between microbial and host tryptophan metabolism in regulating the immune system, and the mechanisms by which gut barrier integrity is altered in lupus.
    Finally, she is conducting pre-clinical studies to explore the therapeutic potentials of treatments combining metabolic inhibitors to standard-of-care or emerging biologics. Her long-term goal is to identify and validate therapeutic targets using a combination of genetic, metabolic and microbial / metabolomics approaches.
    Research & Clinical Focus


    CD4+ T cells




  • Date Time Room Session Title Lecture Title
    May 16 14:00-14:30 Room Room1 International Symposium 1_Recent advances in Immunopathogenesis of SLE Metabolism of autoantibody production in lupus