Immunology Faculty Member - Chester Alper, MD

Chester Alper, MD

Boston Children's Hospital
200 Longwood Ave.
WAB 132A
Boston, MA 02115
Tel: 617-713-8850
Fax: 617-713-8852

The primary interest of this laboratory is in the control by genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) of immune functions and in the role that MHC genes have in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. Projects have dealt with MHC gene influence on NK cell repertoire, T cell antigen receptor repertoire and the human immune response, on immunoglobulin deficiencies, on autoimmune diseases, and on dendritic cell surface molecules and function. We have examined genetic determination of the human immune response to the hepatitis B vaccine and tetanus toxoid peptides, using these as models. Because incomplete pentrance of susceptibility genes is characteristic of MHC-associated phenomena, including diseases such as type diabetes (T1D), gluten-sensitive enteropathy and IgA deficiency, we have been exploring the role of MHC gene expression in determining penetrance. We have developed ways to analyze modes of inheritance of incompletely penetrant MHC traits and of localizing, identifying and determining modes of inheritance of specific MHC susceptibility genes. We are currently focusing our efforts on type 1 diabetes.

Last Update: 8/12/2015


Alper CA, CE Larsen, DP Dubey, ZL Awdeh, DA Fici, EJ Yunis. The haplotype structure of the human major histocompatibility complex. Hum Immunol. 2006; 67: 73-84.

Alper CA, Z Husain, CE Larsen, DP Dubey, R Stein, C Day, A Baker, H Beyan, M Hawa, TO Ola, RD Leslie. Incomplete penetrance of susceptibility genes for MHC-determined immunoglobulin deficiencies in monozygotic twins discordant for type1 diabetes. J Autoimmun. 2006; 27: 89-95.

Bilbao JR, B Calvo, AM Aransay, A Martin-Pagola, G Pérez de Nanclares, TA Aly, I Rica, JC Vitoria, S Gaztambide, J Noble, PR Fain, ZL Awdeh, CA Alper, L Castaño. Conserved extended haplotypes discriminate HLA-DR3-homozygous Basque patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus and celiac disease. Genes Immun. 2006; 7: 550-554.

Awdeh ZL, EJ Yunis, MJ Audeh, D Fici, A Pugliese, CE Larsen, CA Alper. A genetic explanation for the rising incidence of type 1 diabetes, a polygenic disease. J Autoimmun. 2006; 27: 174-181.

Romero V, CE Larsen, JS Duke-Cohan, EA Fox, T Romero, OP Clavijo, DA Fici, Z Husain, I Almeciga, DR Alford, ZL Awdeh, J Zuñiga, L El-Dahdah, CA Alper, EJ Yunis. Genetic fixity in the human major histocompatibility complex and block size diversity in the class 1 region including HLA-E. BMC Genet. 2007; 8: 14.

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