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Howie Seay, MSc, LATg: Biological Scientist II, Laboratory Manager

Howie with his wife, Danielle, and children, Crasher and Lorelei

Howie joined the UF Diabetes Institute as part of the Brusko Lab in 2011 after trying to give back to society as a high school science teacher. His responsibilities in the lab include processing peripheral and cord blood samples, flow cytometric analysis of human immune cells, fluorescence-activated cell sorting, lab website and intranet design and maintenance, and the other various support duties of a research lab manager.

Howie’s curiosity is focused on how T cell receptor (TcR) repertoire affects the pathology of type 1 diabetes (T1D) and how increasing TcR repertoire in T1D patients could lead to a cure. This currently involves isolating naïve regulatory T cells from cryogenically-preserved umbilical cord blood units for expansion and potential re-infusion of autologous immune cells into children suffering from T1D who have had their umbilical cord blood stored after birth. The hypothesis is that this therapy can be used to repopulate the immune system with regulatory T cells (Treg) that suppress autoimmunity and reverse the loss of insulin-producing ß-cells of the pancreas.

Howie is also working with the nPOD program on identifying the adaptive immune repertoire of T1D (which includes T cell receptors and B cell receptors), as well as DNA methylation signatures in Pancreatic-draining lymph nodes in nPOD donors. These methylation patterns can signify whether genes are turned on or off in a cell, and early evidence shows that cytotoxic T-lymphocytes in T1D patients are different at the epigenetic level when compared to healthy donor samples. The next step is determining why those differences happen and how those differences make the cells function in a unique way to aid in diabetes pathogenesis.


Contact Info

Mobile Phone: (352) 514-8839

Lab Phone: (352) 273-9300

E-mail: hrseay@ufl.edu


Education

  • Johns Hopkins University/Coursera, Specialization Certificate, Data Science, 2016 (in progress)

  • Nova Southeastern University, M.S., Biomedical Informatics, 2015

  • University of Florida, B.S. Zoology, 2005


Honors

Memberships & Activities


Oral Presentations

  • Global CpG methylation signature of pancreatic draining lymph node CD8+ T cells in type 1 diabetesHoward R. Seay, Karl Kelsey, MD, Brock Christianson, PhD, Melissa Elliot, PhD, John Wiencke, PhD, Mark Atkinson, PhD, and Todd Brusko, PhD. 2013 nPOD Annual Meeting, Atlantic Beach, Florida, USA


Poster Presentations


Publications