Department of Medicinal and Biological Chemistry

Katherine A. Wall, Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Wall

Professor and Chair
Department of Medicinal and Biological Chemistry
419.383.1943 Phone
Frederic and Mary Wolfe 284A


B.S., 1971 Montana State University
Ph.D., 1977 University of California at Berkeley
Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell
Cancer Research Fellowship
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
NIH Fellowship, 1980-82 University of Chicago
Visiting Investigator 2000-01 University of Michigan
Visiting Professor 2010 University of Rochester Medical Center

Immunology and biochemistry; molecular analysis of the autoimmune disease myasthenia gravis using a murine model system; design of immunomodulatory drugs.

Research Interests

I have three major projects ongoing in my laboratory.

1) Cytokines in Myasthenia Gravis
Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disease characterized by autoantibodies to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Over the past 20 years, my collaborators and I have defined the T cell response to the acetylcholine receptor in a murine model of myasthenia gravis, experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG). Currently we seek to determine the mechanisms by which factors other than antibody titer affect disease severity in myasthenia gravis. We are studying the role of the cytokine interleukin 12 (IL-12) in enhancing passive transfer of EAMG. We have shown that interferon gamma is important in enhancing disease and are determining the source of interferon gamma and its effects on muscle tissue

2) Glycopeptide-Based Cancer Antigen Vaccines
This project is a collaboration with Dr. Steve Sucheck of the UT Dept. of Chemistry. We have been studying the immune response of mice to cancer vaccines containing synthetic cancer glycopeptide antigens with a covalently attached rhamnose epitope. This is designed to take advantage of anti-rhamnose antibodies that occur naturally in humans and can be generated in mice. We are developing additional synthetic vaccines that take advantage of antibody targeting.

3) CD38 and NAD Metabolites in Lymphocyte Signaling
I have a longstanding interest in the role of NAD metabolites in lymphocyte function. During a sabbatical with Dr. Frances Lund in Rochester, NY in 2010, I began a study of CD38 and NAD metabolites in T cell function. My lab is continuing a collaboration with Dr. James Slama to examine the role of NAADP, a newly discovered calcium mobilizing agent, in lymphocyte signaling and function.

Representative Publications

  1. Immunological evaluation of recent MUC1 glycopeptide cancer vaccines. M. K. Hossain and K. A. Wall. Vaccines 4 (3): 25, 2016.
  2. Nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide plays a critical role in naïve and effector murine T cells but not natural regulatory T cells. R. A. Ali, C. Camick, K. Wiles, T. F. Walseth, J. T. Slama, S. Bhattacharya, D. R. Giovannucci, and K. A. Wall. J. Biol. Chem. 291: 4503-4522, 2016.
  3. Synthesis of a liposomal MUC1 glycopeptide-based immunotherapeutic and evaluation of the effect of L-rhamnose targeting on cellular immune responses. P. Karmakar, K. Lee, S. Sarkar, K. A. Wall, and S. J. Sucheck. Bioconjugate Chem. 27: 110-120, 2016.
  4. Synthesis of α-L-rhamnosyl ceramide and evaluation of its binding with anti-rhamnose antibodies.  D. E. Long, P. Karmakar, K. A. Wall, and S. J. Sucheck. Bioorg. & Med. Chem. 22: 5279-5289, 2014.
  5. Activity of nicotinic acid substituted nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAADP) analogs in a human cell line: difference in specificity between human and sea urchin NAADP receptors.  R. A. Ali, T. Zhelay, C. Trabbic, T. F. Walseth, J. T. Slama, D. R. Giovannucci, and K. A. Wall.  Cell Calcium 55: 93-103, 2014.
  6. Synthesis and immunological evaluation of a MUC1 glycopeptide incorporated into L-rhamnose displaying liposomes.  S. Sarkar, A. Salyer, K. A. Wall, and S. Sucheck.  Bioconjugate Chem. 24: 363–375, 2013.
  7. Synthesis of a single molecule L-rhamnose-containing three component vaccine and evaluation of antigenicity in the presence of anti-L-rhamnose antibodies.  S. Sarkar, S. A. Lombardo, D. N. Herner, R. S. Talan, K. A. Wall, and S. J. Sucheck.  J. Amer. Chem. Soc. 132: 17236-17246, 2010.
  8. Cowpea mosaic virus capsid: a promising carrier for the development of carbohydrate based antitumor vaccines.  A. Miermont, H. Barnhill, E. Strable, X. Lu, K. A. Wall, Q. Wang, M. G. Finn, and X. Huang.  Chemistry - A European Journal 14: 4939-4947, 2008.
  9. Split tolerance in a novel transgenic model of autoimmune myasthenia gravis.  S. Stacy, B. Gelb, B. A. Koop, J. J. Windle, K. A. Wall, K. A. Krolick, A. J. Infante, and E. Kraig.  J. Immunol. 169: 6570-6579, 2002.
  10. Interleukin-12 enhances clinical experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis in susceptible but not resistant mice.  S. Sitaraman, D. W. Metzger, R. J. Belloto, Jr., A. J. Infante, and K. A. Wall.  J. Neuroimmunol. 107: 73-82, 2000.
Last Updated: 6/30/19