Linda Spatz

Associate Medical Professor







Dr. Linda Spatz

Linda Spatz


Dr. Linda Spatz is interested in genetic and environmental factors that play a role in the development of anti-double stranded (anti-dsDNA) antibodies, which are the hallmark of the autoimmune disease Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). Her laboratory is currently studying the role of the Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) in the etiology of lupus.  Studies in her laboratory have demonstrated that an EBV protein, designated EBNA-1, can elicit anti-dsDNA antibodies with pathogenic potential. Her studies suggest that a viral protein such as EBNA-1, may act as a molecular mimic of dsDNA, thereby triggering an autoimmune response.  Ongoing structural and translational studies are being performed to further understand the basis of this molecular mimicry with the goal that this may lead to diagnostic and therapeutic treatment strategies for SLE.



Ph.D., 1985, Columbia University

B.A., 1978, SUNY at Albany

Research Interests

  • Viral Etiology of lupus
  • Molecular mimicry and autoantibodies
  • Antibodies to viral proteins that cross-react with dsDNA
  • Genetic and environmental factors that can lead to autoimmunity
  • Role of Activation induced deaminase in lupus    
  • Generation of neutralizing antibodies as a vaccine for ZIKA (in collaboration with Dr. Paul Gottlieb)


Selected Publications


1. Yadav, P., Carr, M., Yu, R., Mumbey-Wafula, A., Spatz, L. 2016. Mapping an epitope in EBNA-1 that is recognized by monoclonal antibodies to EBNA-1 that cross-react with dsDNA. . Immunity, Inflammation, and Disease 4: 362-375. PMID: 27621818.

2. Alimova, A., Wei, H., Katz, A., Spatz, L., and Gottlieb, P. 2015. The φ6 cystovirus protein P7 becomes accessible to antibodies in the transcribing nucleocapsid: A probe for viral structural elements. PLoS ONE 10; e0122160, PMCID: PMC4370446.

3. Klein F., Halper-Stromberg A., Horwitz J.A., Gruell H., Scheid J.F., Bournazos S., Mouquet H., Spatz L.A., Diskin R., Abadir A., Zang T., Dorner M., Billerbeck E., Labitt R.N., Gaebler C., Marcovecchio PM, Incesu R.B., Eisenreich T.R., Bieniasz P.D., Seaman M.S., Bjorkman P.J., Ravetch J.V., Ploss A., Nussenzweig M.C. 2012. HIV therapy by a combination of broadly neutralizing antibodies in humanized mice. Nature 492; 118-122.

4. Yadav, P., Tran, H., Ebegbe, R., Gottlieb, P., Wei, H., Lewis, R. H., Mumbey-Wafula, A., Kaplan, A. Kholdarova, E., and Spatz, L. 2011. Antibodies elicited in response to EBNA-1 may cross-react with dsDNA. PLoS ONE 6: 1-14.

5. Crupi, R., Cambiaghi, M., Spatz, L., Hen, Rene, Thorn, Mitchell, Friedman, E., Vita, G., and Battaglia, F. 2010.  Reduced adult neurogenesis and altered emotional behaviors in autoimmune-prone B-cell activating factor transgenic mice. Biol. Psych. 67; 558-566.

6. Thorn, M., Lewis, R., Kantrowitz, S., Mumbey-Wafula, A. and Spatz, L. 2010.  BAFF overexpression promotes anti-dsDNA B cell maturation and antibody secretion. Cellular Immunol. 261; 9-22.

7. Taylor, D.K., Ito, E., Thorn, M., Sundar, K., Tedder, T., and Spatz, L. 2006. Loss of tolerance of anti-dsDNA B cells in mice overexpressing CD19. Mol. Immunol. 11; 1776-1790.

8. Sundar, K.,  P. Gottlieb, S. Jacques, R. Villars, M-E. Benito, D. Taylor and L. Spatz. 2004. Expression of the Epstein-Barr Virus Nuclear Antigen-1 (EBNA-1) in the mouse can elicit the production of anti-dsDNA antibodies.  J. Autoimmunity. 23; 127-140.

9. Chu, Y.-P., D. Taylor, H-G., Yan, B. Diamond, and L. Spatz. 2002. Persistence of partially functional dsDNA binding B cells in mice transgenic for the heavy chain of an IgM anti-dsDNA antibody. Internat. Immunol. 14: 45-54.