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Benjamin Ortiz

TitleProfessor of Biological Sciences
Faculty RankProfessor
InstitutionHunter College, CUNY
DepartmentBiological Sciences
AddressRoom 927 HN, Hunter College, CUNY
695 Park Avenue
New York NY 10065
Phone(212) 772-5670
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    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse overview
    T cells are the major organizers of the adaptive immune response, and a target of viruses such as HIV and HTLV-1 that cause currently incurable diseases. T cells can also be targeted to eliminate cancer cells in an organism by equipping them (through genetic engineering) with known antigen receptor genes. Such known receptors now exist targeting various cancers including those of prostate, skin and blood cell origin. T cells develop from hematopoeitic stem cells that reside in the bone marrow. This process is governed by incompletely understood gene regulatory mechanisms that execute the T cell genetic program. Our laboratory investigates gene regulation during T cell development. We use both in vivo transgenic mouse models as well as newly developed technology for in vitro T cell development from embryonic stem cells. Our focus has been on the regulation of the gene locus encoding the alpha chain of the T cell receptor (TCRa), particularly its locus control region (LCR). Appropriately regulated expression of the TCRa gene is essential for the development of virtually all of the circulating T cells in the body. The TCRa LCR has powerful properties that provide a linked gene with a predictable pattern of gene expression, in terms of level, developmental timing and cell-type distribution. It also bears a strong, but poorly understood, insulation capacity that provides LCR-linked transgenes with integration site-independence when inserted into the genome. Our work to date has identified numerous sub-sequences of the TCRa LCR that support its various properties. Molecular investigations of these sequence elements (and their interactions) are expected to reveal components required for generating proper TCRa gene regulation in vivo and completion of T cell development. Through our translational research collaborations, our work will also provide tools to establish robust, predictable and specific therapeutic gene expression in T cells via eventual gene therapy applications targeted at specific cancer cell types and T cell viral diseases. Our lab’s reagents and technologies have enabled us to additionally contribute to collaborations with other groups investigating important aspects of T cell development and function.


    Collapse Research 
    Collapse research activities and funding
    R25GM060665     (ORTIZ, BENJAMIN D.,)Mar 1, 2000 - Jun 30, 2012
    NIH
    RISE Program at Hunter College CUNY
    Role: Principal Investigator

    R21AI053050     (ORTIZ, BENJAMIN D)Sep 1, 2003 - Aug 31, 2004
    NIH
    Chromatin based gene regulation in T lymphocytes
    Role: Principal Investigator

    R01AI053050     (ORTIZ, BENJAMIN D)Mar 15, 2004 - Feb 28, 2009
    NIH
    Chromatin based gene regulation in T lymphocytes
    Role: Principal Investigator

    SC1GM095402     (ORTIZ, BENJAMIN D.)Feb 9, 2011 - Jan 31, 2016
    NIH
    Translating TCRa locus control region activity to T cell gene therapy vectors
    Role: Principal Investigator

    T34GM137858     (DELCHAM, HENDRICK D)Aug 1, 2020 - Jul 31, 2025
    NIH
    Bridges to the Baccalaureate Research Training Program at LaGuardia Community College
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse selected publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
    Newest   |   Oldest   |   Most Cited   |   Most Discussed   |   Timeline   |   Field Summary   |   Plain Text
    PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
    1. Szefler SJ, Casale TB, Haselkorn T, Yoo B, Ortiz B, Kattan M, Busse WW. Treatment Benefit with Omalizumab in Children by Indicators of Asthma Severity. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2020 Sep; 8(8):2673-2680.e3. PMID: 32298853.
      Citations: 1     Fields:    
    2. Busse WW, Humbert M, Haselkorn T, Ortiz B, Trzaskoma BL, Stephenson P, Garcia Conde L, Kianifard F, Holgate ST. Effect of omalizumab on lung function and eosinophil levels in adolescents with moderate-to-severe allergic asthma. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2020 02; 124(2):190-196. PMID: 31760132.
      Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    3. Kavati A, Zhdanava M, Ortiz B, Lecocq J, Schiffman B, Pilon D, Ho H, Lefebvre P, Stone B. Retrospective Study on the Association of Biomarkers With Real-world Outcomes of Omalizumab-treated Patients With Allergic Asthma. Clin Ther. 2019 10; 41(10):1956-1971. PMID: 31563391.
      Citations:    Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    4. Sullivan PW, Kavati A, Ghushchyan VH, Lanz MJ, Ortiz B, Maselli DJ, LeCocq J. Impact of allergies on health-related quality of life in patients with asthma. J Asthma. 2020 Nov; 57(11):1263-1272. PMID: 31311356.
      Citations:    Fields:    
    5. Kavati A, Zhdanava M, Ortiz B, LeCocq J, Schiffman B, Pilon D, Ching Cheung H, Lefebvre P, Stone BD. Long-term omalizumab outcomes in chronic idiopathic urticaria: a real-world study. Allergy Asthma Proc. 2019 09 01; 40(5):321-328. PMID: 31345280.
      Citations: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    6. Li P, Kavati A, Puckett JT, Jahnke J, Busse P, Hanania NA, Ortiz B, Doshi JA. Omalizumab Treatment Patterns Among Patients with Asthma in the US Medicare Population. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2020 02; 8(2):507-515.e10. PMID: 31336178.
      Citations: 2     Fields:    
    7. Sullivan PW, Lanz MJ, Ghushchyan VH, Kavati A, LeCocq J, Ortiz B, Maselli DJ. Healthcare resource utilization, expenditures, and productivity in patients with asthma with and without allergies. J Asthma. 2020 Sep; 57(9):959-967. PMID: 31264894.
      Citations:    Fields:    
    8. Sullivan PW, Lanz MJ, Ghushchyan VH, Kavati A, LeCocq J, Ortiz B, Maselli DJ. Medication use and indicators of poor asthma control in patients with and without allergies. Allergy Asthma Proc. 2019 07 03; 40(4):221-229. PMID: 31053178.
      Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    9. Hoskin B, Ortiz B, Paknis B, Kavati A. Exploring the real-world profile of refractory and non-refractory chronic idiopathic urticaria in the USA: clinical burden and healthcare resource use. Curr Med Res Opin. 2019 08; 35(8):1387-1395. PMID: 30793986.
      Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    10. Sullivan PW, Ghushchyan V, Kavati A, Navaratnam P, Friedman HS, Ortiz B. Trends in Asthma Control, Treatment, Health Care Utilization, and Expenditures Among Children in the United States by Place of Residence: 2003-2014. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2019 Jul - Aug; 7(6):1835-1842.e2. PMID: 30772478.
      Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    11. MacDonald KM, Kavati A, Ortiz B, Alhossan A, Lee CS, Abraham I. Short- and long-term real-world effectiveness of omalizumab in severe allergic asthma: systematic review of 42 studies published 2008-2018. Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2019 05; 15(5):553-569. PMID: 30763137.
      Citations: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    12. Rege S, Kavati A, Ortiz B, Mosnaim G, Cabana MD, Murphy K, Aparasu RR. Documentation of asthma control and severity in pediatrics: analysis of national office-based visits. J Asthma. 2020 02; 57(2):205-216. PMID: 30657001.
      Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    13. Rege S, Kavati A, Ortiz B, Mosnaim G, Cabana MD, Murphy K, Aparasu RR. Asthma Medication Prescribing Practices in Pediatric Office Visits. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2019 04; 58(4):395-405. PMID: 30614250.
      Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    14. Tharp MD, Bernstein JA, Kavati A, Ortiz B, MacDonald K, Denhaerynck K, Abraham I, Lee CS. Benefits and Harms of Omalizumab Treatment in Adolescent and Adult Patients With Chronic Idiopathic (Spontaneous) Urticaria: A Meta-analysis of "Real-world" Evidence. JAMA Dermatol. 2019 01 01; 155(1):29-38. PMID: 30427977.
      Citations: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    15. Hoskin B, Ortiz B, Paknis B, Kavati A. Humanistic Burden of Refractory and Nonrefractory Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria: A Real-world Study in the United States. Clin Ther. 2019 02; 41(2):205-220. PMID: 30606639.
      Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    16. Beck-Sague CM, Arrieta A, Pinzon-Iregui MC, Ortiz B, Dean AG, Cuddihy A, Gasana J. Trends in Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Childhood Asthma in Miami, Florida: 2005-2013. J Immigr Minor Health. 2018 Dec; 20(6):1429-1437. PMID: 29290019.
      Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    17. Ke X, Kavati A, Wertz D, Huang Q, Wang L, Willey VJ, Stephenson JJ, Ortiz B, Panettieri RA, Corren J. Real-world Clinical Characteristics, Treatment Patterns, and Exacerbations in US Patients With Asthma Newly Treated With Omalizumab. Clin Ther. 2018 07; 40(7):1140-1158.e4. PMID: 30049502.
      Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    18. Ke X, Kavati A, Wertz D, Huang Q, Wang L, Willey VJ, Stephenson JJ, Ortiz B, Paknis B, Bernstein JA, Beck LA. Real-World Characteristics and Treatment Patterns in Patients with Urticaria Initiating Omalizumab in the United States. J Manag Care Spec Pharm. 2018 Jul; 24(7):598-606. PMID: 29952712.
      Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    19. Sullivan PW, Ghushchyan V, Kavati A, Navaratnam P, Friedman HS, Ortiz B. Health Disparities Among Children with Asthma in the United States by Place of Residence. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2019 01; 7(1):148-155. PMID: 29782937.
      Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    20. Kavati A, Pilon D, Ortiz B, Paknis B, Vegesna A, Schiffman B, Zhdanava M, Lefebvre P, Stone B. Description of Baseline Characteristics of Pediatric Allergic Asthma Patients Including those Initiated on Omalizumab. Allergy Rhinol (Providence). 2018 Jan-Dec; 9:2152656718763387. PMID: 29977648.
      Citations:    
    21. Williams P, Kavati A, Pilon D, Xiao Y, Zhdanava M, Balp MM, Lefebvre P, Ortiz B, Hernandez-Trujillo V. Health care burden and treatment patterns in commercially insured children with chronic idiopathic/spontaneous urticaria: A real-world study in the United States. Allergy Asthma Proc. 2018 May 19; 39(3):201-211. PMID: 29514728.
      Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    22. Eghrari-Sabet J, Sher E, Kavati A, Pilon D, Zhdanava M, Balp MM, Lefebvre P, Ortiz B, Bernstein JA. Real-world use of omalizumab in patients with chronic idiopathic/spontaneous urticaria in the United States. Allergy Asthma Proc. 2018 May 07; 39(3):191-200. PMID: 29458456.
      Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    23. Bernstein JA, Kavati A, Tharp MD, Ortiz B, MacDonald K, Denhaerynck K, Abraham I. Effectiveness of omalizumab in adolescent and adult patients with chronic idiopathic/spontaneous urticaria: a systematic review of 'real-world' evidence. Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2018 04; 18(4):425-448. PMID: 29431518.
      Citations: 5     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    24. Williams PV, Kavati A, Pilon D, Xiao Y, Zhdanava M, Balp MM, Lefebvre P, Ortiz B, Hernandez-Trujillo V. Treatment Patterns, Healthcare Resource Utilization, and Spending Among Medicaid-Enrolled Children with Chronic Idiopathic/Spontaneous Urticaria in the United States. Dermatol Ther (Heidelb). 2018 Mar; 8(1):69-83. PMID: 29429043.
      Citations:    
    25. Ke X, Kavati A, Wertz D, Huang Q, Wang L, Willey VJ, Stephenson JJ, Ortiz B, Paknis B, Bernstein JA, Beck LA. Real-World Characteristics and Treatment Patterns in Patients with Urticaria Initiating Omalizumab in the United States. J Manag Care Spec Pharm. 2017 Dec 19; 1-11. PMID: 29406838.
      Citations: 1     Fields:    
    26. Pilon D, Kavati A, Ortiz B, Paknis B, Vegesna A, Schiffman B, Zhdanava M, Lefebvre P, Stone B. Asthma control, lung function, symptoms, and corticosteroid sparing after omalizumab initiation in patients with allergic asthma. Allergy Asthma Proc. 2018 Mar 05; 39(2):127-135. PMID: 29208079.
      Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    27. Wang L, Ke X, Kavati A, Wertz D, Huang Q, Willey VJ, Stephenson JJ, Ortiz B, Paknis B, Bernstein JA, Beck LA. Real-world treatment patterns and outcomes of omalizumab use in patients with chronic idiopathic urticaria. Curr Med Res Opin. 2018 01; 34(1):35-39. PMID: 29064325.
      Citations: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    28. Corren J, Kavati A, Ortiz B, Vegesna A, Colby JA, Ruiz K, Panettieri RA. Patient-reported outcomes in moderate-to-severe allergic asthmatics treated with omalizumab: a systematic literature review of randomized controlled trials. Curr Med Res Opin. 2018 01; 34(1):65-80. PMID: 29057669.
      Citations: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    29. Sullivan PW, Ghushchyan V, Navaratnam P, Friedman HS, Kavati A, Ortiz B, Lanier B. The national cost of asthma among school-aged children in the United States. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2017 09; 119(3):246-252.e1. PMID: 28890020.
      Citations: 11     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    30. Sullivan PW, Ghushchyan V, Navaratnam P, Friedman HS, Kavati A, Ortiz B, Lanier B. National Prevalence of Poor Asthma Control and Associated Outcomes Among School-Aged Children in the United States. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2018 Mar - Apr; 6(2):536-544.e1. PMID: 28847656.
      Citations: 9     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    31. Sullivan PW, Ghushchyan V, Navaratnam P, Friedman HS, Kavati A, Ortiz B, Lanier B. Indicators of poorly controlled asthma and health-related quality of life among school-age children in the United States. Allergy Asthma Proc. 2017 Nov 11; 38(6):431-439. PMID: 28800789.
      Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    32. Chipps BE, Haselkorn T, Paknis B, Ortiz B, Bleecker ER, Kianifard F, Foreman AJ, Szefler SJ, Zeiger RS. More than a decade follow-up in patients with severe or difficult-to-treat asthma: The Epidemiology and Natural History of Asthma: Outcomes and Treatment Regimens (TENOR) II. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2018 05; 141(5):1590-1597.e9. PMID: 28797732.
      Citations: 10     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    33. Corren J, Kavati A, Ortiz B, Colby JA, Ruiz K, Maiese BA, Cadarette SM, Panettieri RA. Efficacy and safety of omalizumab in children and adolescents with moderate-to-severe asthma: A systematic literature review. Allergy Asthma Proc. 2017 Jul 01; 38(4):250-263. PMID: 28631599.
      Citations: 8     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    34. Chipps BE, Lanier B, Milgrom H, Deschildre A, Hedlin G, Szefler SJ, Kattan M, Kianifard F, Ortiz B, Haselkorn T, Iqbal A, Rosén K, Trzaskoma B, Busse WW. Omalizumab in children with uncontrolled allergic asthma: Review of clinical trial and real-world experience. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2017 May; 139(5):1431-1444. PMID: 28477722.
      Citations: 18     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    35. Sullivan P, Ghushchyan VG, Navaratnam P, Friedman HS, Kavati A, Ortiz B, Lanier B. School absence and productivity outcomes associated with childhood asthma in the USA. J Asthma. 2018 02; 55(2):161-168. PMID: 28453370.
      Citations: 7     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    36. Goldstein S, Gabriel S, Kianifard F, Ortiz B, Skoner DP. Clinical features of adolescents with chronic idiopathic or spontaneous urticaria: Review of omalizumab clinical trials. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2017 04; 118(4):500-504. PMID: 28390587.
      Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    37. Kucerová-Levisohn M, Knirr S, Mejia RI, Ortiz BD. The 3'-Ja Region of the TCRa Locus Bears Gene Regulatory Activity in Thymic and Peripheral T Cells. PLoS One. 2015; 10(7):e0132856. PMID: 26177549.
      Citations:    Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    38. Kucerová-Levisohn M, Lovett J, Lahiji A, Holmes R, Zúñiga-Pflücker JC, Ortiz BD. Derivation of T cells in vitro from mouse embryonic stem cells. J Vis Exp. 2014 Oct 14; (92):e52119. PMID: 25349888.
      Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    39. Lahiji A, Kucerová-Levisohn M, Holmes R, Zúñiga-Pflücker JC, Ortiz BD. Adapting in vitro embryonic stem cell differentiation to the study of locus control regions. J Immunol Methods. 2014 May; 407:135-45. PMID: 24681242.
      Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    40. Lahiji A, Kucerová-Levisohn M, Lovett J, Holmes R, Zúñiga-Pflücker JC, Ortiz BD. Complete TCR-a gene locus control region activity in T cells derived in vitro from embryonic stem cells. J Immunol. 2013 Jul 01; 191(1):472-9. PMID: 23720809.
      Citations: 4     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    41. Findley SE, Thomas G, Madera-Reese R, McLeod N, Kintala S, Andres Martinez R, Ortiz B, Herman E. A community-based strategy for improving asthma management and outcomes for preschoolers. J Urban Health. 2011 Feb; 88 Suppl 1:85-99. PMID: 21337055.
      Citations: 10     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    42. Arsov I, Adebayo A, Kucerova-Levisohn M, Haye J, MacNeil M, Papavasiliou FN, Yue Z, Ortiz BD. A role for autophagic protein beclin 1 early in lymphocyte development. J Immunol. 2011 Feb 15; 186(4):2201-9. PMID: 21239722.
      Citations: 43     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    43. Knirr S, Gomos-Klein J, Andino BE, Harrow F, Erhard KF, Kovalovsky D, Sant'Angelo DB, Ortiz BD. Ectopic T cell receptor-a locus control region activity in B cells is suppressed by direct linkage to two flanking genes at once. PLoS One. 2010 Nov 22; 5(11):e15527. PMID: 21124935.
      Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    44. Kovalovsky D, Pezzano M, Ortiz BD, Sant'Angelo DB. A novel TCR transgenic model reveals that negative selection involves an immediate, Bim-dependent pathway and a delayed, Bim-independent pathway. PLoS One. 2010 Jan 13; 5(1):e8675. PMID: 20072628.
      Citations: 19     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    45. Gomos-Klein J, Harrow F, Alarcón J, Ortiz BD. CTCF-independent, but not CTCF-dependent, elements significantly contribute to TCR-alpha locus control region activity. J Immunol. 2007 Jul 15; 179(2):1088-95. PMID: 17617601.
      Citations: 7     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    46. Kwon HL, Ortiz B, Swaner R, Shoemaker K, Jean-Louis B, Northridge ME, Vaughan RD, Marx T, Goodman A, Borrell LN, Nicholas SW. Childhood asthma and extreme values of body mass index: the Harlem Children's Zone Asthma Initiative. J Urban Health. 2006 May; 83(3):421-33. PMID: 16739045.
      Citations: 13     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    47. Harrow F, Ortiz BD. The TCRalpha locus control region specifies thymic, but not peripheral, patterns of TCRalpha gene expression. J Immunol. 2005 Nov 15; 175(10):6659-67. PMID: 16272321.
      Citations: 8     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    48. Nicholas SW, Jean-Louis B, Ortiz B, Northridge M, Shoemaker K, Vaughan R, Rome M, Canada G, Hutchinson V. Addressing the childhood asthma crisis in Harlem: the Harlem Children's Zone Asthma Initiative. Am J Public Health. 2005 Feb; 95(2):245-9. PMID: 15671459.
      Citations: 31     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    49. Harrow F, Amuta JU, Hutchinson SR, Akwaa F, Ortiz BD. Factors binding a non-classical Cis-element prevent heterochromatin effects on locus control region activity. J Biol Chem. 2004 Apr 23; 279(17):17842-9. PMID: 14966120.
      Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    50. Ortiz BD, Harrow F, Cado D, Santoso B, Winoto A. Function and factor interactions of a locus control region element in the mouse T cell receptor-alpha/Dad1 gene locus. J Immunol. 2001 Oct 01; 167(7):3836-45. PMID: 11564801.
      Citations: 5     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
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