M. Louise Markert, MD, PhD



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Professor of Pediatrics
Professor of Immunology
Department / Division:
Pediatrics / Pediatrics-Allergy/Immunology
DUMC 3068
Durham, NC 27710
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  • MD, Duke University School of Medicine, 1982
  • Pediatrics, Duke University Medical Center, 1982-1984
  • Pediatric Allergy-Immunology, Duke University Medical Center, 1984-1987
Other Training:
  • PhD, Immunology, Duke University, 1981
Clinical Interests:
Thymic transplantation for DiGeorge syndrome, inherited immunodeficiency states
Research Interests:
Dr. Markert is currently investigating thymus transplantation in complete DiGeorge syndrome. Complete DiGeorge syndrome is a fatal genetic disorder in which patients have heart defects, severe parathyroid hypoplasia and absence of the thymus. In a research protocol complete DiGeorge patients who have no T cells are transplanted with postnatal cultured human thymic epithelial tissue. The transplants are later biopsied to evaluate whether host stem cells have migrated to the tranplanted tissue and developed into T cells. Sixty three infants with complete DiGeorge anomaly have been transplanted and 45 survive (71%). Her research to date has shown that the patient can develop new host T cells in the graft and normal T cell proliferative responses to mitogens and antigens. Thus, in infants born with no T cells because of DiGeorge syndrome, cultured donor postnatal thymic tissue is sufficient for the development of host T cells from host stem cells. Dr. Markert is now studying patients previously transplanted to learn how long the thymus functions and why the T cell numbers in her post thymus transplantation patients remain low for age - similar to the T cell numbers in patients with partial DiGeorge anomaly who do not need thymus transplantation. In 2012, Dr. Markert began studies in an animal model to use thymus transplantatin to induce tolerance to solid organ transplants. This work is funded by The Hartwell Foundation.
Representative Publications:
  • Chinn, IK; Markert, ML. Induction of tolerance to parental parathyroid grafts using allogeneic thymus tissue in patients with DiGeorge anomaly. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2011;127:1351-1355.  Abstract
  • Knutsen, AP; Baker, MW; Markert, ML. Interpreting low T-cell receptor excision circles in newborns with DiGeorge anomaly: importance of assessing naive T-cell markers. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2011;128:1375-1376.  Abstract
  • Li, B; Li, J; Devlin, BH; Markert, ML. Thymic microenvironment reconstitution after postnatal human thymus transplantation. Clinical Immunology. 2011;140:244-259.  Abstract
  • Markert, ML; Marques, JG; Neven, B; Devlin, BH; McCarthy, EA; Chinn, IK; Albuquerque, AS; Silva, SL; Pignata, C; de Saint Basile, G; Victorino, RM; Picard, C; Debre, M; Mahlaoui, N; Fischer, A; Sousa, AE. First use of thymus transplantation therapy for FOXN1 deficiency (nude/SCID): a report of 2 cases. Blood. 2011;117:688-696.  Abstract
  • Chinn, IK; Olson, JA; Skinner, MA; McCarthy, EA; Gupton, SE; Chen, DF; Bonilla, FA; Roberts, RL; Kanariou, MG; Devlin, BH; Markert, ML. Mechanisms of tolerance to parental parathyroid tissue when combined with human allogeneic thymus transplantation. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2010;126:814-820.e8.  Abstract
  • Markert, ML; Devlin, BH; McCarthy, EA. Thymus transplantation. Clinical Immunology. 2010;135:236-246.  Abstract
  • Chinn, IK; Devlin, BH; Li, YJ; Markert, ML. Long-term tolerance to allogeneic thymus transplants in complete DiGeorge anomaly. Clinical Immunology. 2008;126:277-281.  Abstract
  • Markert, ML; Li, J; Devlin, BH; Hoehner, JC; Rice, HE; Skinner, MA; Li, YJ; Hale, LP. Use of allograft biopsies to assess thymopoiesis after thymus transplantation. Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). 2008;180:6354-6364.  Abstract
  • Selim, MA; Markert, ML; Burchette, JL; Herman, CM; Turner, JW. The cutaneous manifestations of atypical complete DiGeorge syndrome: a histopathologic and immunohistochemical study. Journal of Cutaneous Pathology. 2008;35:380-385.  Abstract
  • Markert, ML; Devlin, BH; Alexieff, MJ; Li, J; McCarthy, EA; Gupton, SE; Chinn, IK; Hale, LP; Kepler, TB; He, M; Sarzotti, M; Skinner, MA; Rice, HE; Hoehner, JC. Review of 54 patients with complete DiGeorge anomaly enrolled in protocols for thymus transplantation: outcome of 44 consecutive transplants. Blood. 2007;109:4539-4547.  Abstract
  • Markert, ML; Alexieff, MJ; Li, J; Sarzotti, M; Ozaki, DA; Devlin, BH; Sedlak, DA; Sempowski, GD; Hale, LP; Rice, HE; Mahaffey, SM; Skinner, MA. Postnatal thymus transplantation with immunosuppression as treatment for DiGeorge syndrome. Blood. 2004;104:2574-2581.  Abstract
  • Markert, ML; Sarzotti, M; Ozaki, DA; Sempowski, GD; Rhein, ME; Hale, LP; Le Deist, F; Alexieff, MJ; Li, J; Hauser, ER; Haynes, BF; Rice, HE; Skinner, MA; Mahaffey, SM; Jaggers, J; Stein, LD; Mill, MR. Thymus transplantation in complete DiGeorge syndrome: immunologic and safety evaluations in 12 patients. Blood. 2003;102:1121-1130.  Abstract
  • Markert, ML; Alvarez-McLeod, AP; Sempowski, GD; Hale, LP; Horvatinovich, JM; Weinhold, KJ; Bartlett, JA; D'Amico, TA; Haynes, BF. Thymopoiesis in HIV-infected adults after highly active antiretroviral therapy. AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses. 2001;17:1635-1643.  Abstract
  • Collard, HR; Boeck, A; Mc Laughlin, TM; Watson, TJ; Schiff, SE; Hale, LP; Markert, ML. Possible extrathymic development of nonfunctional T cells in a patient with complete DiGeorge syndrome. Clinical Immunology. 1999;91:156-162.  Abstract
  • Markert, ML; Boeck, A; Hale, LP; Kloster, AL; McLaughlin, TM; Batchvarova, MN; Douek, DC; Koup, RA; Kostyu, DD; Ward, FE; Rice, HE; Mahaffey, SM; Schiff, SE; Buckley, RH; Haynes, BF. Transplantation of thymus tissue in complete DiGeorge syndrome. The New England journal of medicine. 1999;341:1180-1189.  Abstract
  • Davis, CM; McLaughlin, TM; Watson, TJ; Buckley, RH; Schiff, SE; Hale, LP; Haynes, BF; Markert, ML. Normalization of the peripheral blood T cell receptor V beta repertoire after cultured postnatal human thymic transplantation in DiGeorge syndrome. Journal of Clinical Immunology. 1997;17:167-175.  Abstract