Puchong Thirawatananond, PhD

Puchong Thirawatananond MD/PhD CandidatePuchong completed his PhD in May 2023 with focus on gene editing to improve the safety and efficacy of adoptive cell therapy in T1D and other autoimmune diseases.  Puchong joined the Brusko lab in 2019 as is an MD/PhD student.   He attended Johns Hopkins University with a major in Molecular and Cellular Biology. Before starting medical school, he worked as a technician for Sandra B. Gabelli to solve 3D protein structures through X-ray crystallography. One of his structures, an HLA presenting a neoantigen peptide, inspired him to pursue research in immunology and its modulation through immunotherapy.

With a PhD under his belt and a passion for science and research, Puchong continues to finish the second half his medical degree to become a physician.



NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral MD/PhD Fellowship (F30) “Generation of Islet Specific T Follicular Regulatory Like Cells for Autologous Cell Therapy of Type 1 Diabetes.” 2021.


Japp AS, Meng W, Rosenfeld AM, Perry DJ, Thirawatananond P, Bacher RL, Liu C, Gardner JS; HPAP Consortium, Atkinson MA, Kaestner KH, Brusko TM, Naji A, Luning Prak ET, Betts MR. TCR+/BCR+ dual-expressing cells and their associated public BCR clonotype are not enriched in type 1 diabetes. Cell. 2021 Feb 4;184(3):827-839.e14. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2020.11.035. PMID: 33545036; PMCID: PMC8016147.

Shapiro MR, Thirawatananond P, Peters L, Sharp RC, Ogundare S, Posgai AL, Perry DJ, Brusko TM. De-coding genetic risk variants in type 1 diabetes. Immunol Cell Biol. 2021 Jan 22. doi: 10.1111/imcb.12438. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33483996.

Thirawatananond P, McPherson RL, Malhi J, Nathan S, Lambrecht MJ, Brichacek M, Hergenrother PJ, Leung AKL, Gabelli SB. Structural analyses of NudT16-ADP-ribose complexes direct rational design of mutants with improved processing of poly(ADP-ribosyl)ated proteins. Sci Rep. 2019 Apr 11;9(1):5940. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-39491-w. PMID: 30976021; PMCID: PMC6459841.


Lab: (352) 273-9300

Email: Puchong@ufl.edu