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Mary Louise Markert, PhD, MD

Professor Emeritus 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 cultured thymus tissue implantatoin in children with congenital athymia.  Congenital athymia is a fatal disease as the patients have no T cells to defend against infection.   There are several etiologies of congenital athymia including 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, CHARGE (coloboma, heart defects, choanal atresia, growth or mental retardation, genital abnormalities and ear anomalies and or deafness.   Complete DiGeorge anomaly is a designation that encompasses the above in addition with patients with athymia who have heart and/or parathyroid defects.   In research studies, patients with athymia who have no T cells are given postnatal cultured thymus tissue implants (CTTI).   Of 95 patients with congenital athymia approximately 72% have developed T cells and survive. Dr. Markert is now studying patients previously given CTTI to learn how long the tissue 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 CTTI. In 2012, Dr. Markert began studies in an animal model to use CTTI to induce tolerance to solid organ transplants.  This work in rats has been published and showed tolerance induction for solid organ transplants.  

Education and Training

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

Selected Grants and Awards

Publications

Markert, M Louise, Stephanie E. Gupton, and Elizabeth A. McCarthy. “Experience with cultured thymus tissue in 105 children.” J Allergy Clin Immunol, August 3, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2021.06.028.

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Gupton, Stephanie E., Elizabeth A. McCarthy, and M Louise Markert. “Care of Children with DiGeorge Before and After Cultured Thymus Tissue Implantation.” J Clin Immunol 41, no. 5 (July 2021): 896–905. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10875-021-01044-0.

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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 (January 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

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