Instructor in Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine

Brief Bio
Dr. White’s research focuses on cellular immunology, skin immunobiology, and the immune mechanisms of drug hypersensitivity. This work stems from a large body of data showing that certain severe immune-mediated adverse drug reactions (IM-ADRs) such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis (SJS/TEN) and DRESS are strongly associated with variation in the HLA genes and that T cell immune responses are integral to the pathogenesis of these IM-ADRs. The goal of this research program is to understand how these pathogenic T cells arise and are maintained to address the following unexplained observations related to IM-ADRs: 1) the incomplete positive predictive values for known HLA risk allele associations, 2) the variable clinical phenotypes of these reactions, 3) the short latency period for some IM-ADRs, and 4) the long-lasting immunity to the drug in the absence of ongoing exposure. An over-arching hypothesis of her work is that these reactions are the result of heterologous immune responses and that a substantial proportion of the pathogenic T cells in these diseases stem from activation of cross-reactive effector memory T cells that 1) were primed against pathogen-specific antigen much earlier and 2) subsequently recognize the drug-endogenous peptide complex presented by the HLA risk allele. The broader collaborative research team includes experts in the cellular immunology of viral infections, structural biologists with expertise in crystallography of immune proteins, peptide repertoire analysis, and tetramer synthesis, and clinicians with expertise in drug hypersensitivity and clinical phenotyping.
Huntsville, AL
Previous Institution
University of Alabam at Birmingham
Previous Role/Title
Medical/Graduate Student
Infectious Diseases


M.D. - University of Alabama
Ph.D. - University of Alabama
B.S., Chemistry - University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
B.S., Quantitative Finance - University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Postgraduate Training

Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 2010-2012 Chief Resident, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 2013-2014
Clinical Fellow, Infectious Diseases, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 2012-2013 Research Fellow, Infectious Diseases, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 2014-2017

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