Bio-X Graduate Student Fellow

Awarded in 2019
Home Department: Immunology
Faculty Advisors: Aida Habtezion (Medicine - Gastroenterology & Hepatology), Purvesh Khatri (Medicine - Biomedical Informatics and Biomedical Data Science) , and Paul (PJ) Utz (Medicine - Immunology and Rheumatology)

Research Title: Elucidating the Role of Epigenetic Modifications in IBD Pathogenesis and Presentation Using Mass Cytometry

Research Description: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn’s Disease (CD) and Ulcerative Colitis (UC), impacts 3 million US adults and is increasing in incidence. Despite significant associations between IBD and genetics,Photo of graduate student Lawrence Bai in a dry lab, working on a computer showing brightly-colored 3D images. diet, and the microbiome, its etiology remains unknown. Epigenetics, or the study of non-genetic modifications to the organism’s gene expression, potentially links all three factors but has not been thoroughly studied in IBD. Using a novel single-cell technology, EpiTOF, Lawrence will study the epigenetics of immune cells from patients with IBD using state-of-the-art analytic methods to better understand and identify epigenetic differences in IBD pathology, which could ultimately lead to development of novel and effective therapies for patients with IBD.


Lawrence is a Life Sciences Consultant at L.E.K. Consulting, where he has worked on strategy and due diligence projects across the life sciences industry, including biopharma, pharma services, diagnostics, and medical devices.