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Mary Louise Markert, PhD, MD

Professor of Pediatrics
Professor of Immunology
Member of the Duke Cancer Institute
Campus mail: Box 3068 Med Ctr, Durham, NC 27710
Phone: (919) 684-6263
Email address: marke001@mc.duke.edu

Dr. Markert is currently investigating thymus transplantation in complete DiGeorge syndrome. Complete DiGeorge syndrome is a fatal genetic disorder in which patients have heart defects, severe parathyroid hypoplasia and absence of the thymus. In a research protocol complete DiGeorge patients who have no T cells are transplanted with postnatal cultured human thymic epithelial tissue. The transplants are later biopsied to evaluate whether host stem cells have migrated to the tranplanted tissue and developed into T cells. Seventy nine infants with complete DiGeorge anomaly have been transplanted and 56 survive (71%). Her research to date has shown that the patient can develop new recipient T cells in the graft and normal T cell proliferative responses to mitogens and antigens. Thus, in infants born with no T cells because of DiGeorge syndrome, cultured donor postnatal thymic tissue is sufficient for the development of recipient T cells from recipient stem cells. Dr. Markert is now studying patients previously transplanted to learn how long the thymus functions and why the T cell numbers in her post thymus transplantation patients remain low for age - similar to the T cell numbers in patients with partial DiGeorge anomaly who do not need thymus transplantation. In 2012, Dr. Markert began studies in an animal model to use thymus transplantatin to induce tolerance to solid organ transplants. This work was funded by The Hartwell Foundation and is continuing under internal funding.

Education and Training

  • M.D., Duke University, 1982
  • Ph.D., Duke University, 1981

Selected Grants and Awards

Publications

Bosticardo, Marita, Francesca Pala, Enrica Calzoni, Ottavia M. Delmonte, Kerry Dobbs, Cameron L. Gardner, Nicolo’ Sacchetti, et al. “Artificial thymic organoids represent a reliable tool to study T-cell differentiation in patients with severe T-cell lymphopenia.” Blood Adv 4, no. 12 (June 23, 2020): 2611–16. https://doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020001730.

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Bifsha, Panojot, Jennifer W. Leiding, Sung-Yun Pai, Aurelien B. L. Colamartino, Nicholas Hartog, Joseph A. Church, Benjamin R. Oshrine, Jennifer M. Puck, M Louise Markert, and Elie Haddad. “Diagnostic assay to assist clinical decisions for unclassified severe combined immune deficiency.” Blood Adv 4, no. 12 (June 23, 2020): 2606–10. https://doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020001736.

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Kwun, Jean, Jie Li, Clay Rouse, Jae Berm Park, Alton B. Farris, Maragatha Kuchibhatla, Joseph W. Turek, Stuart J. Knechtle, Allan D. Kirk, and M Louise Markert. “Cultured thymus tissue implantation promotes donor-specific tolerance to allogeneic heart transplants.” Jci Insight 5, no. 11 (June 4, 2020). https://doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.129983.

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Baloh, Carolyn, M Louise Markert, Vandana Shashi, and John Sleasman. “Predicting Autoimmunity Development in 22q11.2DS.” In Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 145:AB81–AB81. MOSBY-ELSEVIER, 2020.

Scholars@Duke

Hale, Laura P., Jadee Neff, Lynn Cheatham, Diana Cardona, M Louise Markert, and Joanne Kurtzberg. “Histopathologic assessment of cultured human thymus.” Plos One 15, no. 3 (2020): e0230668. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0230668.

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Du, Qiumei, Larry K. Huynh, Fatma Coskun, Erika Molina, Matthew A. King, Prithvi Raj, Shaheen Khan, et al. “FOXN1 compound heterozygous mutations cause selective thymic hypoplasia in humans.” J Clin Invest 129, no. 11 (November 1, 2019): 4724–38. https://doi.org/10.1172/JCI127565.

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Oers, Nicolai S. van, Qiumei Du, Huynh Larry, Fatma Coskun, Igor Dozmorov, Prithvi Raj, Shaheen Khan, Christian Wysocki, Mary Louise Markert, and Maria Teresa de la Morena. “22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome (DiGeorge) and Mutations in Forkhead Box N1 (FOXN1) cause a Thymic Hypoplasia through distinct Developmental Processes.” In Journal of Immunology, Vol. 202. AMER ASSOC IMMUNOLOGISTS, 2019.

Scholars@Duke

Bosticardo, Marita, Francesca Pala, Enrica Calzoni, Cameron Gardner, Kerry Dobbs, Suk See De Ravin, Nicholas Hartog, et al. “Artificial Thymic Organoids Represent a Reliable and Quick Tool to Study T Cell Differentiation in Human Bone Marrow Samples from Patients with Severe T Cell Immunodeficiency.” In Journal of Clinical Immunology, 39:S51–52. SPRINGER/PLENUM PUBLISHERS, 2019.

Scholars@Duke

Gupton, Stephanie E., Elizabeth A. McCarthy, and Mary Louise Markert. “Guidance for the Care of Patients Undergoing Cultured Thymus Tissue Transplantation (RVT-802).” In Journal of Clinical Immunology, 39:S49–50. SPRINGER/PLENUM PUBLISHERS, 2019.

Scholars@Duke

Yates, Tyler R., Jennifer Puck, Morna J. Dorsey, Ziad Khatib, Karin Chen, Vivian Hernandez-Trujillo, William Blouin, Ralph Quinones, Erwin W. Gelfand, and M Louise Markert. “Investigational Cultured Thymus Tissue Transplantation (RVT-802) Following Failed Stem Cell Transplantation in Athymic Patients.” In Journal of Clinical Immunology, 39:S26–27. SPRINGER/PLENUM PUBLISHERS, 2019.

Scholars@Duke

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