Michael Teitell, Director, Basic/Translational Research

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Dr. Michael TeitellMichael Teitell, M.D., Ph.D., is a molecular immunologist and biochemist who joined the faculty at UCLA as an assistant professor and chief of the Division of Pediatric and Neonatal Pathology in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in 1999. He was jointly appointed in the UCLA Department of Pediatrics in 2001 and the Department of Bioengineering in 2009, and was promoted to professor in 2008. In addition, he is the Latta Endowed Professor of Pathology, co-director of the UCLA Tumor Immunology Training Program, co-director of the Broad Stem Cell Research Center Bioengineering Core, an associate director of the UCLA-Caltech Medical Scientist Training Program (M.D., Ph.D. program), and the NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative for Intercollegiate Athletics at UCLA. 

Teitell received concurrent B.S. and M.S. degrees from the UCLA College Honors Program as a Departmental Scholar in Chemistry and Biochemistry in 1985. He earned combined M.D. and Ph.D. degrees in the UCLA Medical Scientist Training Program in 1993 under the mentorship of Dr. Mitchell Kronenberg.  Teitell was a resident and clinical instructor in anatomic pathology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School from 1993 to 1995. During this time he was also a research associate with Dr. Richard Blumberg. From 1995 to 1997, Teitell was a resident in clinical pathology at UCSF and a post-doctoral researcher with Dr. Joe Gray. From 1997 to 1999, he held a joint appointment at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles as a pediatric pathology fellow and at UCLA as a clinical instructor in pathology.

Research in the Teitell lab began with studies of fundamental mechanisms of cancer formation and progression, particularly for B lymphocyte malignancies. This led to projects in stem and cancer cell metabolism and the collaborative development of new approaches in cell engineering and response detection. Active project areas include: 1.) mechanisms that control B cell differentiation into antibody-secreting plasma cells versus transformation into aggressive B cell leukemias and lymphomas in the germinal center;  2.) studies of a pathway for importing small non-coding RNAs into mitochondria to regulate cell respiration and energy production; 3.) metabolism and mitochondrial function in human pluripotent stem cells, with parallels to metabolism in cancer cells; and 4.) applications of a co-invented “photothermal nanoblade” for gently delivering large cargo, such as mitochondria or intracellular pathogens, into mammalian cells and a Live Cell Interferometer for real-time single cell response profiling to environmental perturbations. 

Teitell currently serves as chief of the Division of Pediatric and Neonatal Pathology, with board certification in anatomic, clinical and pediatric pathology. He is Phi Beta Kappa, UCLA Eta Chapter, a Scholar and Stohlman Scholar of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and was elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigators in 2004.