Alexander Poltorak, PhD

Alexander Poltorak, PhD

Associate Professor of Immunology



BS, Chemistry, St Petersburg University
PhD, Chemistry, Technological Institute
Postdoctoral Training, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center


Campus: Boston
Office: Jaharis 529A
Laboratory: Jaharis 527

Contact Information

Office Phone: 617-636-3596
Lab Phone: 617-636-3945
E-mail   Send an e-mail 


Research Website  Lab Research Page
Recent Publications  Abstract in PubMed

Graduate Programs

Genetics, Immunology, Molecular Microbiology


Research Synopsis

We are interested in cell death and inflammatory responses as two critical components of the host immune defense against pathogens. We use forward genetic analysis in the wild-derived strains of mice to investigate regulatory mechanisms of cell death and inflammation. Our recent work has uncovered importance of constitutive (tonic) type I Interferon (IFN-I) in initiation of programed cell death such as pyroptosis and necroptosis. This constitutive IFN signature is induced by STING-mediated DNA-sensing pathway and maintains the expression of unknown effectors of necroptosis. We are currently focusing on identifying these effectors by means of forward genetic analysis.


Lab Members

Hayley Muendlein, PhD Student in Genetics Send an e-mail Lab Research Page
Joe Sarhan, MD, PhD Student in Immunology Send an e-mail  Lab Research Page
Irina Smirnova, Research Associate Send an e-mail  Lab Research Page

Apply to the Sackler School


The priority application deadlines are as follows:

December 1: Basic Science Division PhD Programs

February 15: Building Diversity in Biomedical Sciences

March 31: Post-Baccalaureate Research Program

May 1: Clinical & Translational Science, MS in Pharmacology & Drug Development