Asst. Prof. Justyna Fert-Bober
I am an Assistant Professor at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, with a broad background of biochemistry, molecular biology, immunology, and proteomics to study organ function and regulation in health and disease. My research involves inter-institutional collaborations focused on identifying novel and/or largely understudied biologic markers of heart failure (HF) with the major role of proteins posttranslational modifications (PTMs). I am pioneer in the understanding of arginine deiminases, enzymes family that introduce PTM, called citrullination and their contributions to many processes, like aging, inflammation, and their link with disease development and progression. Uncovering these biological bases are long term goals of my lab expanding to other physiological or pathological conditions. In fact, the COVID-19 pandemic experience has profoundly impact research at my lab and our work has been focuses on i) sex and race differences in both susceptibility and response to SARS-CoV-2 exposure and response to SARS-COV-2 infection; ii) sex and race differences in both positive and negative response to SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, and iii) linking adaptive immune response – autoimmunity with Long COVID, post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The concept of profiling autoantibodies in healthy and disease patients combined with multi-omic data will form the basis of disease prediction allowing for earlier intervention linked to disease prevention strategies, as well as earlier, effective and personalized interventions for established disease.