T. Prescott Atkinson, MD, PhD

atkinsonProfessor of Pediatrics

Address: 1825 University Blvd
Shelby Building, 403
UAB
Birmingham, AL 35294
Telephone: (205) 939-9072
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Members of the Laboratory
Publications

 

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Education


MD, PhD Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Pediatrics Residency, Georgetown University, Washington, DC
Fellowship in Allergy/Immunology, NIH


Research Interests


Research in my laboratory is focused on the role of infection in chronic diseases, especially arthritis and asthma. Ongoing projects in coordination with the UAB Diagnostic Mycoplasma Laboratory are designed to identify mycoplasmas and ureaplasmas in human samples with particular emphasis on the role of those organisms in chronic asthma and extreme prematurity respectively.  Previous studies in my laboratory established that Mycoplasma pneumoniae is able to activate mast cells to produce IL-4 through sialic acid-dependent binding to the high affinity receptor for IgE, a finding with potential implications in the pathogenesis of asthma and potentially a general mechanism in the activation of cells of the immune system by that organism. Work is currently proceeding to determine the current prevalence of macrolide resistance strains of M. pneumoniae in the Birmingham area. I am also actively engaged in the development of rational strategies to determine the molecular basis for unidentified immunodeficiencies in patients in my weekly clinical immunology clinics at Children’s of Alabama. Such patients may represent natural “knockouts” or dominant negative mutations in signaling molecules and provide valuable insights into critical steps in receptor signaling in the human immune system.