Rafael received a Ph.D. in Molecular Immunology from the Rockefeller University in 2002, where he worked in the laboratory of Michel Nussenzweig. From 2002 to 2003, he did postdoctoral training with David Baltimore at the California Institute of Technology. In December 2003, Dr. Casellas moved to the NIAMS where he is currently a senior investigator and head of the Laboratory of Molecular Immunogenetics. Dr. Casellas is also serving as an adjunct investigator at the Center for Cancer Research, NCI.
Our main goal is to unravel the nuclear events that drive peripheral activation of B lymphocytes. From genome-wide changes in epigenetics, chromatin architecture, and transcriptional activation, to recombination and hypermutation of antibody genes. Another major interest is to understand how deregulation of these mechanisms leads to B cell tumorigenesis. To achieve these goals, our team combines a wide range of cutting-edge technologies, including genome editing, nanoscopy, in situ Hi-C, cryo-EM, and bioinformatic tools.