Alison Ringel

Alison Ringel, PhD

Principal Investigator

Core Member

Ragon Institute of Mass General, MIT, and Harvard

Assistant Professor

Department of Biology at MIT



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Molecular adaptations in immune cells enabling function under stress

Research Overview

The Ringel Lab investigates crosstalk between CD8+ T cells and their environment at a molecular level, by dissecting the biological and metabolic programs engaged under conditions of stress. Using an array of approaches to model and perturb the local microenvironment, our research aims to reveal both the adaptive molecular changes as well as intrinsic vulnerabilities in T cells that arise within the tumor niche. Our goal is to understand how disease states remodel the fundamental mechanisms that regulate immune cell function and contribute to pathogenesis.


Dr. RIngel is a Core Member of the Ragon Institute and Assistant Professor in the Biology Department at MIT. She received a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University, where she graduated with University Honors and majored in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry and Physics. She performed her graduate studies at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine with Dr. Cynthia Wolberger, where she received a PhD in Molecular Biophysics. She moved to Harvard Medical School for postdoctoral training, working in the laboratory of Dr. Marcia Haigis within the Department of Cell Biology. She started her own lab in 2022, where she investigates crosstalk between CD8+ T cells and their environment to better understand how T cells adapt to stress conditions.

Selected Publications

Obesity Shapes Metabolism in the Tumor Microenvironment to Suppress Anti-Tumor Immunity.

Ringel, AE, Drijvers, JM, Baker, GJ, Catozzi, A, García-Cañaveras, JC, Gassaway, BM, Miller, BC, Juneja, VR, Nguyen, TH, Joshi, S et al..

2020. Cell 183, 1848-1866.e26.

Pharmacologic Screening Identifies Metabolic Vulnerabilities of CD8+ T Cells.

Drijvers, JM, Gillis, JE, Muijlwijk, T, Nguyen, TH, Gaudiano, EF, Harris, IS, LaFleur, MW, Ringel, AE, Yao, CH, Kurmi, K et al..

2021. Cancer Immunol Res 9, 184-199.

Development of a colorimetric α-ketoglutarate detection assay for prolyl hydroxylase domain (PHD) proteins.

Wong, SJ, Ringel, AE, Yuan, W, Paulo, JA, Yoon, H, Currie, MA, Haigis, MC.

2021. J Biol Chem 296, 100397.

Histone demethylase KDM6A directly senses oxygen to control chromatin and cell fate.

Chakraborty, AA, Laukka, T, Myllykoski, M, Ringel, AE, Booker, MA, Tolstorukov, MY, Meng, YJ, Meier, SR, Jennings, RB, Creech, AL et al..

2019. Science 363, 1217-1222.

Chemical and Physiological Features of Mitochondrial Acylation.

Ringel, AE, Tucker, SA, Haigis, MC.

2018. Mol Cell 72, 610-624.

Nucleosome competition reveals processive acetylation by the SAGA HAT module.

Ringel, AE, Cieniewicz, AM, Taverna, SD, Wolberger, C.

2015. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 112, E5461-70

Lab Team

Carmen Morcelle

Postdoctoral Fellow

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