Dr. Jeniffer Hernandez, who joined KGI in August 2015, is an immunologist with an expertise in autoimmune disease and metabolism. The goal of her research lab is to investigate the role of the immune system on the pathogenesis of metabolic disease, such as type 2 diabetes. As a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Marc Montminy at the Salk Institute, she discovered a new role for the hormonal and metabolic sensor CREB and its co-activator CRTC2 in T cell development and function.
Dr. Hernandez received her B. S. in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology at the University of California, Los Angeles and conducted research in the laboratory of Dr. Judith Lengyel. She then received her Ph.D. from University of California, Irvine and conducted research in the laboratory of Dr. Craig Walsh. During her PhD training, Dr. Hernandez discovered the mechanism of resistance of autoimmunity in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis that harbors a deletion of the kinase DRAK2. Dr. Hernandez also has a passion for teaching and mentoring. In addition to teaching students in the class and lab setting, Dr. Hernandez also volunteers with educational outreach programs.