Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection

Steering Committee

Arvin, Ann, MD
Pediatrics-Infectious Diseases
Our laboratory investigates the molecular virology of varicella zoster virus (VZV) infection, focusing on the functional roles of particular viral gene products in pathogenesis and virus-cell interactions in differentiated human cells in humans and in Scid-hu mouse models of VZV cell tropisms in vivo, and the immunobiology of VZV infections. Aspects of VZV infection are being investigated in the Scid-hu mouse models that have human skin, T cell and neural xenografts. Mutant strains of VZV are being developed from cosmids; recombinant strains are being tested for the effects of deletions, point mutations and linker insertions on T cell tropism and on latency. The role of VZV glycoproteins on the cytoskeletal rearrangements that occur to mediate syncytial formation is being investigated with deletion mutants. Viral protein kinases are being evaluated as virulence factors in vivo and in vitro with deletion mutants. The ultimate goal of these studies is to provide information relevant to developing new genetically engineered vaccines for VZV. In addition to basic research, our laboratory is involved with clinical vaccine studies to examine T-cell responses to VZV induced by varicella vaccine in healthy and immunocompromised individuals, T cell immunity to influenza viruses, and age-related effects on the development of measles immunity in infants.

Barry, Michele, MD, Internal Medicine
Michele Barry, MD, FACP is the Senior Associate Dean for Global Health and Director of Global Health Programs in Medicine at Stanford. She also serves as the health consultant for the Ford Foundation overseas programs. As Director of the Yale/Stanford Johnson and Johnson Global Health Scholar Award program, she has sent over 1000 physicians overseas to underserved areas to help strengthen health infrastructure in low resource settings. As a past President of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, she led an educational initiative in tropical medicine and travelers health which culminated in diploma courses in tropical medicine both in the U.S. and overseas, as well as a U.S. certification exam. Dr. Barry is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine and National Academy of Science and is past-Chair of the Interest Group on Global Health, Infectious Diseases and Microbiology at the IOM. She has been listed in Best Doctors in America and recently joined the Board of Directors of the Bill and Melinda Gates funded Consortium of Universities involved in Global Health (CUGH).
Areas of scholarly interest include global health workforce, clinical tropical medicine, emerging infectious diseases, problems of underserved populations and globalization’s impact upon health in the developing world.

Boothroyd, John, Ph.D.
Microbiology & Immunology
Studies on the cell and molecular biology of parasitic protozoa are critically important for two reasons; first, these organisms are major pathogens of humans and anaimals and, second, they have proven to be a source of some remarkable phenomena that have challenged much of the dogma thought to be universal in eukaryotic biology. We have been studying two of these single-celled eukaryotes, Trypanosoma brucei and Toxoplasma gondii. Each has its own features that make it interesting to the scientist and both are major pathogens, trypanosomes being the cause of sleeping sickness in Africa and Toxoplasma being a major opporunistic pathogen of AIDS patients. As of, 1998, however, we have focused our entire effort on Toxoplasma because of its growing importance and our results developing this system for modern genetic analysis (we now have a full genetic "toolbox" for this intracellular parasite including a genetic map, efficient genetic transformation and gene knock-out).

Davis, Mark M., Ph.D.
Microbiology & Immunology
Molecular mechanisms of lymphocyte recognition and differentiation; molecular genetics and expression of T-cell receptor genes. Dynamics and functionality of specific T cell populations in human cancer.

Esquivel, Carlos, MD, Ph.D.
Surgery-Multi-Organ Transplantation
My role in research is to bring clinical problems to the laboratory to find answers, which in turn, will improve patient care. Thus, my role is translational research in the field of liver and small bowel transplantation. The limiting factor in transplantation is the scarcity of organs leading to pretransplant mortality as high as 20%. Improvements in organ preservation would make more organs available to transplant centers. Our current efforts aim to study the effect of anti-freeze proteins on preservation of the liver and intestine. Our laboratories are also investigating mechanisms to induce immunotolerance after solid organ transplantation and to isolate markers that can document it. This has the potential to be very beneficial in clinical transplantation. Finally, the mechanisms by which EBV infections lead to lymphoid proliferation are also under investigation in our laboratories.

Fathman, C. Garrison, MD
Immunology & Rheumatology
Dr. C. Garrison Fathman is Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Immunology and Rheumatology at Stanford University School of Medicine and Director of the Center for Clinical Immunology at Stanford (CCIS).   He founded and is Past-Chairman of the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies (FOCIS).  His substantial scientific contributions in the areas of cellular and molecular immunology and immunogenetics have brought him international recognition.  As Director of the CCIS, Dr. Fathman has initiated a multidisciplinary approach to study and treat immune based diseases, and has initiated several new approaches to education and community outreach.  His lab’s research includes studying T cell anergy at a molecular level, pathogenesis of NOD T1D analyzed by genomic and proteomic technologies, and targeted therapies for animal models of autoimmune diseases including mechanism of action studies.

Galli, Stephen J., MD
Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology
Mast cells, which normally reside in the tissues, and basophils, which circulate in the blood, are major effector cells of asthma and other IgE-associated allergic disorders and immune responses to parasites. However, mast cells also have been implicated (as effector and/or immunoregulatory cells) in many other settings, including certain autoimmune or inflammatory disorders, innate immune responses to pathogens and resistance to exogenous and exogenous agents which can express significant toxicity; mast cells also may contribute importantly, in certain settings, to angiogenesis, the regulation of epithelial development and function and fibrosis and other examples of tissue remodeling.

Glenn, Jeffrey S., MD, Ph.D.
Gastroenterology & Hepatology
Dr. Glenn’s research interests lie in molecular virology, with a strong emphasis on translating this knowledge into novel antiviral therapies.  Other interests include exploitation of hepatic stem cells, engineered human liver tissues, and new biodefense antiviral strategies. Dr. Glenn’s clinical focus is general gastroenterology and hepatology.  As Director of the Center for Hepatitis and Liver Tissue Engineering, he seeks to facilitate the conduct of innovative phase I/II trials of novel therapeutics for viral hepatitis.

Greenberg, Harry Sr., MD
Gastroenterology & Hepatology and Microbioloty & Immunology
Dr. Greenberg's current interests are in pathogenic viruses that infect the GI tract, liver and respiratory tract. His primary focus is on molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis, viral determinants of protective immunity, the molecular basis of host range, virulence and tissue tropism, vaccine development, viral immunology, and epidemiology with specific emphasis on the role of enteric viruses in less developed countries.

Kirkegaard, Karla, Ph.D.
Microbiology & Immunology
Molecular genetics and biochemistry of RNA virus replication, mechanisms of antiviral drug resistance and viral subversion of cellular protein secretory apparatus to escape the innate and acquired immune systems of the infected host.

McDevitt, Hugh, MD
Microbioloty & Immunology
Major Histocompatibility Complex Associated susceptibility with autoimmune disease with particular emphasis on Type 1 Diabetes in the nonobese diabetic (NOD) mouse, Rheumatoid Arthritis established in new animal models of this disease, Pathogenesis of type 1 Diabetes in the NOD mouse with particular emphasis on early events initiating the diabetic process.  Other interests include how MHC Class II polymorphisms give rise to pathogenic T cell populations.

Martinez, Olivia, MD
Surgery - Multi-Organ Transplantation
There are two major areas of focus in the laboratory. First, we are interested in Epstein Barr Virus-mediated mechanisms of immune evasion with particular focus on resistance to cell death receptor pathways of apoptosis in EBV B cell lymphomas, the characterization of the human T cell response to EBV infected B cells and effects of immunosuppressive drugs on growth and survival of EBV B cell lymphomas. The second area of study addresses tolerance induction in solid organ transplantation. In particular we are examining the generation and characterization of regulatory T cells in allogeneic responses and the role of alternate co-stimulatory molecules in alloreactivity.

Relman, David A., MD
Microbiology & Immunology, Infectious Diseases
Human microbial ecology, in particular, characterization of the indigenous microbial communities of the human mouth and gut, with emphasis on understanding spatial patterning of diversity, succession, the effects of disturbance, and the role of these communities in oral and intestinal disease.  Experimental approaches include molecular phylogenetics, ecological statistics, single cell genomics, in situ analyses, and community-wide metagenomics. Patterns of human response to systemic infection, focusing on the classification structure of humans and non-human primates with systemic infectious diseases, based on patterns of genome-wide gene transcript abundance in blood and other tissues.

Sarwal, Minnie, MD, MRCP, DCH, PhD
Associate Professor, Pediatrics-Nephrology
Translational research into the molecular and immunological basis of transplant dysfunction. Using competitive quantitaive RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry, granulysin was identified as a novel peripheral blood marker for transplant rejection, and its distribution in tissue defined steroid resistance or sensitivity. Prospective screening studies are underway to define this as a predictive assay for subclinical rejection. cDNA Microarray analysis is being conducted on blood and tissue specimens in patients undergoing steroid based and a novel steroid free immunosuppression protocol (designed by Drs Sarwal and Salvatierra at Stanford). Samples are simultaeously hybridized to 23,000 human cDNA's (with about 40% of these cDNA's being unidentified novel genes) in collaboration with Dr. Pat Brown at Stanford. New mecahnisms and genes are being identified for acute rejection, chronic rejection and drug nephrotoxicity. This information may allow for clearer differentiation between these varying causes of transplant dysfunction, without biopsy analysis and also offer means to individualizing immunotherapy for transplant patients.

Schoolnik, Gary, MD
Professor, Infectious Diseases, Microbiology & Immunology
Structure-function analysis of bacterial adhesion proteins and toxins; design and synthesis of synthetic antigens; immunobiology of human papillomaviruses

Steinman, Lawrence, MD
Neurology & Neurological Sciences
Our laboratory is dedicated to understanding the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases, particularly multiple sclerosis. We have developed several new therapies for autoimmunity, including some in Phase 2 clinical trials, as well as one approved drug, natalizumab. We have developed microarray technology for detecting autoantibodies to myelin proteins and lipids. We employ a diverse range of molecular and cellular approaches to trying to understand multiple sclerosis.

Strober, Samuel, MD
Immunology & Rheumatology
Dr. Strober’s research has focused on the immune cell interactions that prevent graft versus host disease and retain graft anti-tumor activity after bone marrow transplantation, as well as cell interactions that prevent rejection of organ transplants in the absence of immunosuppressive drugs.  He is also interested in the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus, a disease in which the immune system causes excessive inflammation leading to the damage of multiple organs.

Tompkins, Lucy S., MD, Ph.D.
Microbiology & Immunology, Infectious Diseases
Molecular and cellular basis of pathogenicity of Helicobacter pylori infection and the relationship to gastric malignancy. We are studying the interaction between Helicobacter pylori, the causative agent of peptic ulcers and gastric cancer, and gastric epithelial cells. Genes encoded by a pathogenicity island in H. pylori comprise a secretory apparatus that secretes bacterial CagA protein into target gastric epithelial cells. CagA is phosphorylated on tyrosine residues by host cell kinases and is associated with signal transduction and changes in the cytoskeleton and motility. Cells that have received CagA develop an elongated phenotype and become motile. Further studies suggest that the full-length protein localizes to junctional adhesion sites and acts as an oncoprotein to stimulate the cMET receptor, leading to changes in cell polarity, motility and differentiation, changes which may be related to the development of gastric cancer. We have used an animal model of infection to study gastric lymphoma (MALT lymphoma), including the cellular response. In addition, chronically infected animals are used to address the specific cellular interactions between adipose cells and gastric epithelial cells that are necessary to provide protective immunity following immunization.

UTZ, PJ, MD, Immunology & Rheumatology
Dr. Utz works on technology development for multiplexed proteomics assays, animal models of autoimmunity and tumor immunology, and translational studies in human patients.

Stanford Medicine Resources:

Footer Links: