Mary Louise Markert
Professor of Pediatrics

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.  

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Contact Information

  • Box 3068 Med Ctr, Durham, NC 27710
  • Rm 109B Research Park 4, Research Dr., Durham, NC 27710

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