Luis Franco, M.D., joined the Systemic Autoimmunity Branch at the NIAMS in 2019. He received his medical degree from the Javeriana University School of Medicine in Bogotá, Colombia. He completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in clinical genetics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. From 2009 to 2014, Dr. Franco was assistant professor in the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics and the Department of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. From 2014 to 2019, he was assistant clinical investigator at the Laboratory of Immune System Biology at the NIAID.
The Franco lab seeks to apply functional genomics approaches to the solution of medically important questions related to the immune system. A major area of research involves the molecular dissection of the genomic effects of glucocorticoids, a class of drugs that has been used to treat autoimmune and inflammatory diseases for 70 years but remains poorly understood. This work spans the spectrum from in vitro studies of single cells to in vivo studies with human subjects. The lab is also developing molecular methods for screening drug candidates in human immune cells and has developed assays for the diagnosis of genetic diseases of the immune system that are in use at the NIH Clinical Center.
In addition to his research activities, Dr. Franco is an active clinician who sees patients with known or suspected genetic diseases as part of the NIAID/NIAMS Clinical Genetics Service at the NIH Clinical Center.