ABSTRACT: The Ramirez-Alvarado team is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms that promote protein misfolding in the context of human disease. Our team has focused its studies on Light Chain Amyloidosis, a fatal protein misfolding disease associated with a malignancy. The disease is characterized by abnormal proliferation of plasma cells that secret large amounts of free immunoglobulin light chains. These light chains then misfold and aggregate as amyloid fibrils in vital organs, causing organ failure and death. Our research program is interested in determining the mutations responsible for amyloid formation and the structural basis of light chain derived toxicity.