case western reserve university



Alan D. Levine


Pathology and Pharmacology

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Phone: (216) 368-0342
Fax: (216) 368-1674

Office:BRB 425, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106-4952

Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics Yale University, New Haven CT

M.Phil. In Physics Yale University, New Haven CT

B.S. in Mathematics, physics, and French Union College, Schenectady NY


Nanoscale imaging of plasma membrane lipid rafts

This project creates a new interdisciplinary collaboration among scientists in immunology, physics in the field of biophotonics, chemistry, and biomedical engineering in Near field Scanning Optical Microscopy (NSOM). Alan D. Levine, the PI, has a strong background in the cellular, molecular, and biochemical regulation of the immune response. Ken Singer is an optical scientist and expert in nonlinear optics and the nonlinear optical properties of materials. Robert Twieg is an organic materials chemist and an expert in the design and synthesis of chromophores including fluorescent probes. Steven Eppell is a professor in Biomedical Engineering and Director of the institutional NSOM facility. Our collaboration will introduce novel nonlinear optical techniques and new materials in electric field imaging at the subcellular, nanoscale level. These techniques will be applied to the study of intramembrane potentials in the plasma membrane of immune T lymphocytes during the activation, adhesion, polarization, and migration of these cells through the interstitial extracellular matrix.


The scientific and biomedical problem to be addressed in this project involves a breakthrough in cell biology: the discovery of membrane microdomains (lipid rafts) and the recognition of their critical role in regulating (i) the activation of the T lymphocyte, which initiates and controls the acquired immune response, and (ii) the polarization of the T lymphocyte as it migrates through tissue. By defining the spaciotemporal regulation of T lymphocyte regulation we will introduce new molecular targets for pharmacological manipulation of the host defense response in infectiopus diseases, allergy, asthma, organ transplantation, and autoimmunity.


Schade, A.E., Levine, A.D. “Lipid raft heterogeneity in human peripheral blood T lymphoblasts: a mechanism for regulating the initiation of TCR signal transduction.” J. Immunol. 168:2233-2239 (2002).

Schade, A.E., Levine, A.D. “Phosphatases in concert with kinases set the gain for signal transduction through the T cell receptor.” Molecular Immunology 40:531-537 (2003).

Structural Applications Medicine