Our Lab

Our Scientific Approach:

We are a forward facing laboratory that utilizes cutting-edge genomics, genetic screens, and mouse models to identify mechanisms and therapeutic targets underlying cancer and immunological diseases. We have implicated multiple genes in cancer for the first time including CD28 and RLTPR. We are now utilizing these same approaches to answer fundamental and clinically relevant questions about tumor immunology. Learn more about recent publications from the lab.

Current Projects

  • Gene Discovery: We are using cutting edge next generation sequencing to identify the genetic basis of other inherited and acquired skin diseases and cancers.
  • Molecular Mechanisms: We are using human and animal models to determine how mutations we have discovered affect disease pathogenesis.
  • Clinical Translation: We are actively studying methods to translate our findings into clinically useful biomarkers and novel therapeutics.


Recent work from the Choi lab

The team headlined by Dr. Joonhee Park has made dramatic improvements in our understanding of the genetic basis of cutaneous T cell lymphoma. By studying a larger cohort of 220 CTCLs, she has implicated 55 genes in CTCL pathogenesis, including 17 genes not previously implicated. Importantly, she has provided the first genetic and functional evidence that RLTPR is a T cell-specific oncogene. The mechanism was interesting and somewhat unexpected. Unlike other oncogenes, RLTPR has no known enzymatic domains. The p.Q575E alteration therefore appears to promote oncogenic NF-kB signaling by altering protein-protein interactions. p.Q575E enables preassembly of an important NF-kB signaling complex.  In the presence of concomitant T cell receptor signaling agonists, this complex increases TCR signaling flux over 30 fold.

We are looking for motivated, energetic postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and bioinformaticians to join the Choi lab. We know that students can bring a great deal of energy, intelligence, and enthusiasm for science and medicine. Come join our fight against cancer. 

If you are interested, please contact us:

Jaehyuk Choi
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
303 East Superior St.
Chicago, IL 60611

“Cancer was not disorganized chromosomal chaos. It was organized chromosomal chaos.”
― Siddhartha Mukherjee, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer