Bio-X Graduate Student Fellow

Awarded in 2017
Home Department: Immunology
Faculty Advisors: PJ Utz (Medicine - Immunology & Rheumatology) and Purvesh Khatri (Medicine - Biomedical Informatics, Biomedical Data Science)

Research Title: Sex Affects Immune System Aging

Research Description: The goal of Kelly’s project is to better understand the interaction between sex and autoimmune diseases, specifically autoimmune diseases that have a strong female bias, like systemic sclerosis (SSc). Kelly will use both computational analysis of publicly available data and wet lab validation to determine the differences between female and male gene expression in SSc. Photo of graduate student Kelly McGill in the lab, working on a computer.Then, she will determine if similar expression patterns occur in other autoimmune diseases. By identifying new potential biomarkers and gaining a better understanding of the effects of sex on SSc pathogenesis, Kelly will enable development of more efficacious targeted treatments for patients based on their sex, and discover novel “druggable” pathways.  This project integrates bioinformatics methods with immunological expertise to explore the interaction between sex and autoimmune diseases. 


Kelly is a scientific program analyst at the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.