Dr. Franco joined the Systemic Autoimmunity Branch at NIAMS in 2019. He received his medical degree from the Javeriana University School of Medicine in Bogotá, Colombia. He completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in clinical genetics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. From 2009 to 2014, he was Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics and the Department of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. From 2014 to 2019, he was Assistant Clinical Investigator at the Laboratory of Immune System Biology at NIAID.

Research Statement

The Franco lab seeks to apply functional genomics approaches to the solution of medically important questions related to the immune system. A major area of research involves the molecular dissection of the genomic effects of glucocorticoids, a class of drugs that has been used to treat autoimmune and inflammatory diseases for 70 years but remains poorly understood. This work spans the spectrum from in vitro studies of single cells to in vivo studies with human subjects. The lab is also developing molecular methods for screening drug candidates in human immune cells and has developed assays for the diagnosis of genetic diseases of the immune system that are in use at the NIH Clinical Center.

In addition to his research activities, Dr. Franco is an active clinician who sees patients with known or suspected genetic diseases as part of the NIAID/NIAMS Clinical Genetics Service at the NIH Clinical Center.  

Scientific Publications

Immune regulation by glucocorticoids can be linked to cell type-dependent transcriptional responses.

Franco LM, Gadkari M, Howe KN, Sun J, Kardava L, Kumar P, Kumari S, Hu Z, Fraser IDC, Moir S, Tsang JS, Germain RN
The Journal of experimental medicine.
2019 Feb 4;
doi: 10.1084/jem.20180595
PMID: 30674564

Transcript- and protein-level analyses of the response of human eosinophils to glucocorticoids.

Gadkari M, Makiya MA, Legrand F, Stokes K, Brown T, Howe K, Khoury P, Hu Z, Klion A, Franco LM
Scientific data.
2018 Dec 4;
doi: 10.1038/sdata.2018.275
PMID: 30512017

Glucocorticoid-induced eosinopenia in humans can be linked to early transcriptional events.

Khoury P, Stokes K, Gadkari M, Makiya MA, Legrand F, Hu Z, Klion A, Franco LM
2018 Oct;
doi: 10.1111/all.13497
PMID: 29885264

Syndromic congenital myelofibrosis associated with a loss-of-function variant in RBSN.

Magoulas PL, Shchelochkov OA, Bainbridge MN, Ben-Shachar S, Yatsenko S, Potocki L, Lewis RA, Searby C, Marcogliese AN, Elghetany MT, Zapata G, Hernández PP, Gadkari M, Einhaus D, Muzny DM, Gibbs RA, Bertuch AA, Scott DA, Corvera S, Franco LM
2018 Aug 9;
doi: 10.1182/blood-2017-12-824433
PMID: 29784638

Host Transcriptional Response to Influenza and Other Acute Respiratory Viral Infections--A Prospective Cohort Study.

Zhai Y, Franco LM, Atmar RL, Quarles JM, Arden N, Bucasas KL, Wells JM, Niño D, Wang X, Zapata GE, Shaw CA, Belmont JW, Couch RB
PLoS pathogens.
2015 Jun;
doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004869
PMID: 26070066

Integrative genomic analysis of the human immune response to influenza vaccination.

Franco LM, Bucasas KL, Wells JM, Niño D, Wang X, Zapata GE, Arden N, Renwick A, Yu P, Quarles JM, Bray MS, Couch RB, Belmont JW, Shaw CA
2013 Jul 16;
doi: 10.7554/eLife.00299
PMID: 23878721


M.D.: Pontificia Javeriana University School of Medicine, Bogotá, Colombia


Internal medicine residency: Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, U.S.A.

Clinical genetics fellowship:  Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, U.S.A.

Assistant Professor: Department of Molecular and Human Genetics and Department of Medicine. Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, U.S.A.

Assistant Clinical Investigator: Laboratory of Immune System Biology, NIAID, NIH, Bethesda, MD, U.S.A.

Last Updated: July 2020