Eva Maria Stork
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease, hallmarked by anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPA) that can be present years before clinical symptoms appear. Intriguingly, this ACPA autoimmune response expands shortly before diagnosis. Goal of this project is to resolve the dynamics of this response by profiling the ACPA repertoire on protein (antibody) and DNA (B-cell) level. We develop a mass spectrometry-based quantitative assay for (auto)antibody clonality screening and compare the resulting protein repertoires to B-cell receptor sequences. Besides, repertoires will be tracked in time. Together, this enables a better understanding how autoimmunity evolves and may provide predictors for disease development and therapy outcome.