Hogan Lab

Hogan Lab

"In the last few years, physics, chemistry, and engineering have given us incisive new tools that can be applied to biological and medical problems. The challenge is to deploy these tools creatively to increase our understanding of cell biology and to discover treatments for human disease." — Patrick Hogan, Ph.D. // Professor


Patrick Hogan, Ph.D., studies cells at the nano level – seeking to understand how protein-protein interactions on the submicroscopic scale can have gargantuan impacts on human health and disease. “My laboratory is interested in the processes by which proteins interact with each other and with DNA to turn on genes in the nucleus. That’s the whole secret of how T cells work,” he said, referring to the body’s infection-fighting white blood cells. “The interactions we study are subtle but can be the key to human health and disease.” Dr. Hogan researches how calcium entry into T cells turns on the genes that are necessary to fight infections and cancers. “This flows from my earlier work in neurobiology,” he said, “where we tried to understand how pain sensory neurons are activated. That was my apprenticeship in how calcium and other ions enter cells, and how cells perceive and respond to signals.” His laboratory made a landmark discovery in 2006, when they studied a protein, ORAI1, that was mutated in two children with immune deficiency, making the children unusually susceptible to life-threatening infections. Dr. Hogan related the immune deficiency directly to calcium by showing that ORAI1 forms the pore of the calcium entry channel in T cells. “The hopeful lesson we take from these immunodeficient patients is that it may be possible to develop new therapies for transplant rejection and autoimmune disorders by targeting the calcium channel,” he said.

From The Lab

Apr 22, 2019 // PNAS

To respond or tolerate? LJI researchers selectively block immune activation program orchestrated by the nuclear factor NFAT

Chemical screen proves feasibility of modulating factor at the hub of immune system's decision to attack or retreat
Oct 31, 2018 // Nature Communications, Cell Reports

LJI investigators discover how protein pair controls cellular calcium signals

Protein structure studies lay initial groundwork for novel treatments for immune cell dysfunction
Mar 14, 2017

The molecular underpinnings of T cell exhaustion

LJI investigators scrutinize the genome of non-functional immune cells as a means to create more effective immunotherapies
Dec 6, 2015

Matchmaker lets calcium flow

Newly identified transmembrane protein plays a crucial role in the generation of calcium signals; provides potential new drug target
Jun 23, 2013 // San Diego Union Tribune

T cell trigger found

Hogan Lab


Nat Rev Immunol

Defining 'T cell exhaustion'

Blank CU, Haining WN, Held W, Hogan PG, Kallies A, Lugil E, Lynn RC, Philip M, Rao A, Restifo NP, Schietinger A,…
Sci Rep

Septins organize endoplasmic reticulum-plasma membrane junctions for STIM1-ORAI1 calcium signalling

Katz ZB, Zhang C, Quintana A, Lilemeier BF, Hogan PG
J Physiol

STIM calcium sensing and conformational change

Gudlur A, Zeraik AE, Hirve N, Hogan PG
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

TOX and TOX2 transcription factors cooperate with NR4A transcription factors to impose CD8+ T cell exhaustion

Seo H, Chen J, González-Avalos E, Samaniego-Castruita D, Das A, Wang YH, López-Moyado IF, Georges RO, Zhang W,…
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

Targeting the NFAT:AP-1 transcriptional complex on DNA with a small-molecule inhibitor

Mognol GP, González-Avalos E, Ghosh S, Spreafico R, Gudlur A, Rao A, Damoiseaux R, Hogan PG

A secretory pathway kinase regulates sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ homeostasis and protects against heart failure

Pollak AJ, Liu C, Gudlur A, Mayfield JE, Dalton ND, Gu Y, Chen J, Heller Brown J, Hogan PG, Wiley SE, Peterson KL,…
Nat Commun

Calcium sensing by the STIM1 ER-luminal domain

Gudlur A, Zeraik AE, Hirve N, Rajanikanth V, Bobkov AA, Ma G, Zheng S, Wang Y, Zhou Y, Komives EA, Hogan PG
Cell Rep

Coiled-coil formation conveys a STIM1 signal from ER lumen to cytoplasm

Hirve N, Rajanikanth V, Hogan PG, Gudlur A
J Leukoc Biol

Transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of T cell hyporesponsiveness

Pereira RM, Hogan PG, Rao A, Martinex GJ
Cell Calcium

Calcium-NFAT transcriptional signalling in T cell activation and T cell exhaustion

Hogan PG
Proc Natl Acad Sci USA

Exhaustion-associated regulatory regions in CD8+ tumor-infiltrating T cells

Mongol GP, Spreafico R, Wong V, Scott-Browne JP, Togher S, Hoffman A, Hogan PG, Rao A, Trifari S
Adv Exp Med Biol

The STIM-orai pathway: orai, the pore-forming subunit of the CRAC channel

Gudlar A, Hogan PG

Near-infarared photoactivatable control of Ca(2+) signaling and optogenetic immunomodulation

He L, Zhang Y, Ma G, Tan P, Li Z, Zang S, Wu X, Jing J, Fang S, Zhou L, Wang Y, Huang Y, Hogan PG, Han G, Zhou Y
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

TMEM110 regulates the maintenance and remodeling of mammalian ER-plasma membrane junctions competent for STIM-ORAI signaling

Quintana A, Rajanikanth V, Farber-Katz S, Gudlur A, Zhang C, Jing J, Zhou Y, Rao A, Hogan PG
Cell Calcium

The STIM1-ORAI1 microdomain

Hogan PG
Nature Cell Biology

Proteomic mapping of ER-PM junctions identifies STIMATE as a regulator of Ca(2+) influx

Jing J, He L, Sun A, Quintana A, Ding Y, Ma G, Tan P, Liang X, Zheng X, Chen L, Shi X, Zhang SL, Zhong L, Huang Y, Dong…
Journal of General Physiology

Sphingomyelin, ORAI1 channels, and cellular Ca2+ signaling

Hogan PG
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications

Store-operated calcium entry: mechanisms and modulation

Hogan PG, Rao A
Nature Communications

STIM1 triggers a gating rearrangement at the extracellular mouth of the ORAI1 channel

Gudlur A, Quintana A, Zhou Y, Hirve N, Mahapatra S, Hogan PG
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry

Structure-based optimization of a peptidyl inhibitor against calcineurin-nuclear factor of activated T cell (NFAT) interaction

Qian Z, Dougherty PG, Liu T, Oottikkal S, Hogan PG, Hadad CM, Pei D
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

ORAI1 calcium channel orchestrates skin homeostasis

Vandenberghe M, Raphaël M. Lehen'ki V, Gordienko D, Hastie R, Oddos T, Rao A, Hogan PG, Skyrma R, Prevarskaya N
Nature Structural & Molecular Biology

Initial activation of STIM1, the regulator of store-operated calcium entry

Zhou Y, Srinivasan P. Razavi S, Seymour S, Meraner P, Gudiur A. Stathopulos PB, Ikura M, Rao A, Hogan PG
Current Topics in Membranes

STIM-ORAI interactions that control the CRAC channel

Gudlur A, Zhou Y, Hogan PG

An siRNA screen for NFAT activation identifies septins as coordinators of store-operated Ca2+ entry

Sharma S, Quintana A, Findlay GM, Mettlen M, Baust B, Jain M, Nilsson R, Rao A, Hogan PG

Modulation of TET2 expression and 5-methylcytosine oxidation by the CXXC domain protein IDAX

Ko M, Bandukwala HS, Chavez L, Aijö T, Pastor WA, Segal MF, Li H, Koh KP, Lähdesmäki H, Hogan PG, Aravind L, Rao A
Cell Research

Insights into CRAC channel gating and ion permeation

Hogan PG
Nature Structural & Molecular Biology

Balanced interactions of calcineurin with AKAP79 regulate Ca2+-calcineurin-NFAT signaling

Li H, Pink MD, Murphy JG, Stein A, Dell'Acqua ML, Hogan PG
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Dephosphorylation of the nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) transcription factor is regulated by an RNA-protein scaffold complex

Sharma S, Findlay GM, Bandukawala HS, Oberdoerffer S, Baust B, Li Z, Schmidt V, Hogan PG, Sacks DB, Rao A
Trends in Cell Biology

Interaction of calcineurin with substrates and targeting proteins

Li H, Rao A, Hogan PG
Proc Natl Acad Sci USA

Pore architecture of the ORAI1 store-operated calcium channel

Zhou Y, Ranganathan S, Oh-hora M, Rao A, Hogan PG
Annu Rev Immunol

Molecular basis of calcium signalling in lymphocytes: STIM and ORAI

Hogan PG, Lewis RL, Rao A
Nat Struct Mol Biol

STIM1 gates the store-operated calcium channel ORAI1 in vitro

Zhou Y, Meraner P, Kwon HT, Machnes D, Oh-hora M, Zimmer J, Huang Y, Rao A, Hogan PG

Principal Investigator

Patrick Hogan, Ph.D.


Dr. Hogan, who will join the Institute in early 2010, began his professional career in the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School, where he headed a research laboratory and taught neurobiology. In 1996, he moved his laboratory to the Harvard-affiliated Immune Disease Institute, and continued to teach at Harvard College and Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Hogan is internationally recognized for his work on the calcineurin-NFAT pathway, which regulates gene transcription in many cell types, and for his work on cellular calcium signaling. He holds baccalaureate and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard.

Lab Members

Aparna Gudlur, Ph.D.


I am a protein biochemist with a Ph.D. in structural biology from Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), India and Masters (with distinction) in Biotechnology from M.S.U., India. Some noteworthy achievements include Cancer Research Institute (CRI) Irvington postdoctoral fellowship and Eli Lilly best graduate thesis award.

Research Focus:
My research revolves around understanding how the three-dimensional structure of a protein defines its cellular operations. In Prof. Hogan’s lab, I study how the calcium-sensor protein, STIM, and its partner, the calcium channel ORAI, transform from their respective resting states to an interacting calcium-conducting state that is responsible for calcium signaling in immune cells.

Career Goals:
I’m amazed by the complex functioning of STIM and ORAI, I aspire for an academic career focusing on the mechanism of action of these and other proteins of the calcium signaling pathway.

Xiaocui He

Postdoctoral Fellow

I received my bachelor degree from Sun Yat-Sen University, China, in 2008, and my master degree in South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China, in 2011. After that, I proceeded to my PhD study in Friedrich Loeffler Institute, Germany and received the Ph.D. degree in 2014. Then I worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Molecular Immunology, Max-Planck-Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Germany from Feb. 2015 to Aug. 2017. Currently, I am a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Patrick Hogan´s lab in La Jolla Institute for Immunology.

Research Focus:
My research is mainly focusing on identification of interaction partners of NFAT that involve in controlling T cell tolerance. I also focus on the dynamic conformational changes of STIM1/ORAI and other key regulators in store-operated calcium entry during T cell activation. The ultimate goal of my research is to develop novel therapeutic strategies against autoimmune diseases and cancer.

Nupura Hirve

Research Technician III

I graduated from San Diego State University with a masters degree in Cell and Molecular Biology in 2012. I began working as a Research Technician for Dr. Patrick Hogan in August 2012. My research focuses on calcium signaling in immune cells. Calcium plays an important role in proper functioning of the immune system. Two proteins, STIM and ORAI are responsible for maintaining steady levels of calcium inside the cells. Any defect in the function of these proteins can have detrimental effects on the immune system. The aim of my project is to investigate the molecular mechanism of STIM activation. I am probing how STIM changes its architecture from inactive to active state in response to calcium depletion. This study upon completion will enhance our understanding of the regulation of calcium ion levels in immune cells. Gaining control over this process will help us design better therapies for immunological disorders in humans.

Zachary Katz

Visiting Scientist

Timothy Lee

Intern (non-paid)

Payal Ramchandani


Ana Eliza Zeraik

Postdoctoral Fellow

I received my Ph.D. in biophysics at the University of Sao Paulo (USP), Brazil, where I studied septins from the human pathogen Schistosoma mansoni, which causes the neglected disease schistosomiasis, endemic in developing countries. As a postdoctoral researcher, still at USP, I started working with the proteins STIM and ORAI from the same parasite, these proteins comprise the calcium release-activated (CRAC) channel. I joined Dr. Hogan’s lab to pursue the goal of understanding how S. mansoni STIM and ORAI function and the differences compared to the human CRAC channel. Finding the differences in the gating mechanism of calcium channels might be the first step to rational drug design, since calcium channels are potential targets to parasites.

Chen Zhang

Postdoctoral Fellow

I received my Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Georgia State University, U.S. My research interests have been focused on calcium signaling in both physiological and pathological conditions. I have joined in Dr. Hogan’s lab to investigate how protein and lipid nanodomains influence the STIM-ORAI-mediated Ca2+-release-activated Ca2+ (CRAC) channel activation and Ca2+ influx. Using single-molecule imaging approaches I aim to identify the key lipid-domain rearrangements for STIM-ORAI-mediated Ca2+ signaling at the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-plasma membrane (PM) junction and our ultimate goal is to understand how cellular Ca2+ signaling is central to activating the cells on the front lines of the battle against cancer.

Hogan Lab

Research Projects