Dr. Richard James is an associate professor in pediatrics and pharmacology at the University of Washington and a principal investigator at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Richard's research is focused on understanding how genetic variants lead to dysregulated signaling in lymphoma and in immune dysregulation. He is the co-leader of the B cell engineering program at Seattle Children’s.
Plasma cells are dedicated protein producing machines. The James lab is interested in understanding which proteins are responsible for differentiation of B cells into plasma cells including: activation of naive B cells, response to T cell help, plasmablast expansion and antibody production on a per cell basis. The James lab recently developed genome engineering techniques that can be used to edit primary human B cells, which can subsequently differentiate into plasma cells ex vivo. In collaboration with other projects, Richard uses genome engineering to ask whether oncogenic variants associated with lymphoma or those associated with lupus alter B cell development. Richard is also developing new ways to express and secrete human proteins in plasma cells, with the eventual goal of developing engineered plasma cells as immunotherapies for diseases caused by defects in secreted proteins (e.g. hemophilia).