Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Gregery T Buzzard

Committee Member 1

Ann E Rundell

Committee Member 2

Robert L Geahlen

Committee Member 3

Zhilan Feng


Understanding the immune system and its responses to foreign threats (antigens) is a matter of understanding the immune cells involved, their individual responses, and chemicals responsible for intracellular and intercellular communication. The overall immune response is driven by individual actions of neutrophils, antigen-presenting cells, and lymphocytes (T cells and B cells), among other cells. Intercellular communication is the means by which immune cells develop coordinated response while intracellular signals determine responses within a cell; both depend on systems of chemical reactions at their respective scales. The perspective taken in this dissertation is that of understanding B cells at the intracellular scale and the signaling molecules responsible for its responses.