The Center for Immunology is an interdisciplinary research program at the University of Minnesota devoted to advancing the field of immunology and educating future immunologists.

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CFI is honored to announce that our Director Marc Jenkins, PhD has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Marc's achievement is especially notable in that it has been over 50 years since a UMN Medical School faculty member has been added to this impressive organization of the country’s leading researchers. The National Academy of Sciences elects new members in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Membership is a widely accepted mark of excellence in science and is considered one of the highest honors that a scientist can receive. Current NAS membership totals approximately 2,400 members and 500 foreign associates, of which approximately 190 have received Nobel prizes. Dr. Marc Jenkins has led a distinguished career whose scientific endeavors have answered critical questions in the field of immunology…. Marc is an exemplary scientist, educator, mentor, and advisor. To read more about Marc's accomplishments please click here. We are planning a virtual celebration to honor Dr. Jenkins. Please watch for more details on how to join our celebration, dates and time of the celebration will be listed here and on our Twitter account, @CFI_UMN.


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As a result of the increased use of Zoom meetings globally, they have become a target for meeting hijackers. Read about how to Secure Your Zoom Meeting before it occurs, while you are meeting, and after it is over. You can also watch a short demonstration of In-Meeting Tools to Secure your Zoom Meetings.

Inaugural meeting of ReJUS a success!!

Marc Jenkins recently announced the formation of Restorative Justice for the Underrepresented in Science (ReJUS) at the CFI. ReJUS was born in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, nationwide protests on racial discrimination and discriminatory policing practices including the use of deadly force against black persons. These events have shaken our world, and have been a very painful reminder of our collective silence and complicity in maintaining the status quo and allowing racial injustice to go unchallenged. While centuries of institutionalized racism is daunting to correct as individuals, as a collective of scientists, we can reassess our individual and institutional beliefs, practices, norms, and culture and set them on a more just and equitable course.

ReJUS was founded by trainees at the CFI and is an open community of CFI faculty and trainees (postdocs, staff, graduate, and undergraduate students). We are dedicated to the recruitment, support, and career advancement of students, post-docs, and faculty from historically underrepresented and disenfranchised communities in the biomedical sciences. Our mission is to 1) educate the scientific community on the issues of racial discrimination and institutionalized racism that permeate science and society; 2) promote the recruitment, retention, and career advancement of students, postdocs, and faculty from historically underrepresented and disenfranchised communities into the biomedical sciences; 3) facilitate community outreach events to assist the democratization of science. To review the slides from the first ReJUS meeting please click here.

If you'd like to engage in further discussions on discrimination and racism in science or support the advancement of underrepresented minorities at the CFI, please consider participating in ReJUS. There will be considerable opportunity to shape its direction and play a leadership role. This group is for any trainees and faculty in the CFI community or adjacent to the CFI.
EWIS Interest Form - Please also consider joining EWIS. Both of these groups will be working together on many shared goals.
We also want to promote a few upcoming lectures related to racism and underrepresentation in STEM and a resource recently created by the graduate school: Faculty Fighting Racism
- Lecture (Date TBD): Dr. Eden King (EWIS Event)

Yoji Shimizu, the associate dean of graduate education and director of the Graduate School Diversity Office, has helped form a team to develop a website to give faculty resources to learn how to improve supporting students from marginalized backgrounds and fight racism at the institutional level. The Graduate School Diversity Consultation Team is a group of five staff members who say they hope faculty continue to share the platform and utilize its resources. the platform provides digestible, timely and user-friendly resources after seeing a groundswell of faculty seeking to improve support for students. Read the whole article from Minnesota Daily and find links to the initiative here



Dr. Christopher Pennell receives the Abbott Professorship to introduce prospective students to STEM. The Institute for Engineering in Medicine (IEM) has named LMP associate professor Chris Pennell and Rhonda Franklin, professor of electrical and computer engineering in the College of Science and Engineering, as the inaugural recipients of the IEM Abbott Professorships in Innovative Education. Pennell and Franklin are faculty co-directors of the IEM Inspire Program designed to advance IEM’s mission of inspiring eighth grade through junior college students to pursue future STEM careers in biomedicine and healthcare delivery.  More here.

Dr. Harry Orr earned the 2020 Carole J. Bland Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award. The award honors faculty who serve as role models for each other, promote the professional development of others and creates a supportive, positive working environment.  Bland was a long-time faculty member in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health.  The full announcement is here.

Drs. Xavier Revelo and Haiguang Wang have been awarded an American Association of Immunologists 2020 Careers in Immunology Fellowship. The AAI Careers in Immunology Fellowship Program supports the career development of young scientists by providing eligible PIs with one year of salary support for a trainee in their lab.  Postdoctoral trainee, Dr. Wang will receive salary support for his work in the Revelo lab beginning in August. Congratulations to both Drs. Revelo and Wang. For more information on the work being done in Dr. Revelo's lab click here.  We would also like to welcome Haiguang back to Minnesota! He originally trained in Kris Hogquist's lab before doing his first post doc in Dario Vignali's lab at the University of Pittsburgh, PA.

CFI would like to Congratulate Dr. David Masopust and Dr. Ryan Langlois on their recent awards and honors.  Dr. David Masopust, was named as one of the 2020 Distinguished McKnight University Professors. The Distinguished McKnight University Professorship program recognizes outstanding mid-career faculty members who have recently achieved full professor status, especially those who have made significant advances in their careers at the University of Minnesota, whose work and reputation are identified with the University, and whose accomplishments have brought renown and prestige to Minnesota and to their scholarly fields. Dr. Ryan Langlois has been named a 2020 McKnight Presidential Fellow. The McKnight Presidential Fellows Program is a three-year award given to exceptional faculty who have just achieved tenure and promotion to associate professor, to recognize their accomplishments and support their ongoing research and scholarship.  It recognizes recipients who are recommended by their college dean and chosen at the discretion of the executive vice president and provost based on excellence in research and scholarship, leadership, potential to build top-tier programs, and ability to advance University of Minnesota priorities.

Ben Brian is the winner of 2 Medical school awards, he won the 2020 the Veneziale-Steer Award, which recognizes outstanding basic scientific research by a graduate student or a medical student in the field of cellular growth regulation.  Ben also was one of the recipients of the  2020 J. Jacob Kaplan award for his work in immunology in diagnosis and treatment of cancer .  This award is presented annually for the most meritorious student papers on either clinical or basic medical research. The awards are intended to encourage and recognize scholarly achievement in medical research by young investigators at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Ben is a Pharmacology Graduate Student in the lab of Tanya Freedman

Congratulations to Dr. Peter Krueger, a postdoctoral researcher in Dr. Marc Jenkins lab and Dr. April Huseby Kelcher, a postdoctoral researcher in Dr. Marco Pravetoni's lab.  Peter and April have been named to the tenth class of Public Policy Fellows of the American Association of Immunologists!   The program engages postdoctoral fellows in public policy and legislative activities of AAI that impact biomedical research. Congratulations to both of you!!

Dr. Rachel Johnson earned the 2020 UMN Morris Alumni Association Teaching Award! The University of Minnesota, Morris Alumni Association established the UMMAA Teaching Award to honor individual faculty members for outstanding contributions to undergraduate education. Johnson, an Immunologist, stands out among peers for her commitment to undergraduate teaching and learning.

CFI would also like to recognize and congratulate our colleague and former @CFI_UMN member Lalit Beura, Assistant Professor of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology @BrownUniversity. He was chosen to be a 2020 Searle Scholar for his adaptation of resident memory CD8 T lymphocytes in the reproductive mucosa.  The Searle Scholar program is a career development award made annually to 15 US faculty in the first or second year of their first tenure-track assistant professor position in biomedical research, medicine, chemistry, and the biological sciences. The award recognizes faculty who are considered most promising and have made "important, innovative research" contributions and who have the potential for making continuing significant contributions.

Congratulations to all the recipients!! 


AAI bestows their highest honor the Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Marc Jenkins

The American Association of Immunologists (AAI) has bestowed their highest honor on Dr. Marc Jenkins.  The 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a deserving AAI member for a career of scientific achievement and for contributions to AAI and fellow immunologists and to the field of immunology.   For more information on all of Dr. Jenkins's achievements go here.  CFI would like to extend our congratulations and thank Dr. Jenkins for his guidance and leadership as well as the inspiration he inspires as a teacher, mentor, and scientist to those not only at our University but worldwide.


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  • Naive B Cells with High-Avidity Germline-EncodedAntigen Receptors Produce Persistent IgM+andTransient IgG+Memory B Cells

    Immune memory often lasts for life, this is not the case for certain vaccines in some individuals. By studying B cell responses to phycoerythrin, in the June 2018 issue of Immunity, Pape et al. find that memory B cell responses can be shortlived when generated from precursors that experience unusually strong early signals of avid antigen binding via germline-encoded VH elements. Read more

  • Beura, Et Al, Nature Immunology paper 19,173-182 (2018)

    Intravital mucosal imaging of CD8+ resident memory T cells shows tissue-autonomous recall responses that amplify secondary memory

    Using two-photon intravital microscopy to visualize the responses of CD8resident memory T cells (Trm cells), Post Doctoral fellows in Masopust, Vezys, and Fife labs found that the Trm cells were highly motile but would pause and undergo in situ division after antigen challenge. Read more

  • Co-housing with pet store mice changes the immune system of laboratory mice

     Nature  highlights the work of Lalit Beura, Sara Hamilton, Marc Jenkins, Vaiva Vezys, Steve Jameson, Dave Masopust, and their evidence of how laboratory rodents can skew immunology research but that "dirty mice" can clean up the results. Read more

  • Thymic regulatory T cells arise via two distinct developmental programs

    The developmental programs that generate a broad repertoire of regulatory T cells (Treg cells) able to respond to both self-antigens and non-self antigens remain unclear. Here the Farrar lab et al. found that mature Treg cells were generated through two distinct developmental programs involving CD25+ Treg cell progenitors and Foxp3lo Treg cell progenitors (Foxp3lo TregP cells). Read more 

  • Chrysalis: A New Method for High-Throughput Histo-Cytometry Analysis of Images and Movies

    Advances in imaging have led to the development of powerful multispectral, quantitative imaging techniques, like histo-cytometry. The utility of this approach is limited, however, by the need for time-consuming manual image analysis. In an effort to address the time issue, Kotov and Pengo et al. created the software Chrysalis along with a suite of Imaris Xtensions to batch image processing and analysis to automate the processing workflow for confocal, epi-fluorescence, and two-photon microscopy images. Read more


  • Dual TCR T Cells: Identity Crisis or Multitaskers?

    In this study, Drs. Binstadt and Schuldt aim to provide a brief but comprehensive history of dual TCR T cell research, re-evaluate past observations in the context of current knowledge of the immune system, and identify key issues for future study. Read More

Research ethics at the University of Minnesota

We are committed to protecting research participants, upholding ethical standards, and improving our practice at every step of our work.

Learn more about our commitment to research ethics 


Immunology Journal Club
Julia Riedl-Binstadt lab

"The commensal skin microbiota triggers type I IFN–dependent innate repair responses in injured skin"

Gregory Beatty, MD, PhD 
Department of Medical Oncology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 
Host: Ingunn Stromnes

"Pancreatic cancer and its remarkable ability to evade the immune system" 

"Community Outreach and Engagement: Catchment Analysis and Overview of the COE Seminar Series"

Nichole Klatt, PhD
MICaB Graduate Faculty Candidate

“Mechanisms of microbial influence in HIV infection”

Documentary Screening: Picture a Scientist
Wednesday & Thursday, September 23rd and 24th

Zoom/Register for discussion Friday, September 25th @ 12-1pm
Save the dates:

STEMinist Lunch Club
Join the STEMinist lunch club, this club is an open invitation for people to get together with EWIS members to discuss various ideas/thoughts/career development issues and create a support network. All are welcome to join.

Find more information and register here

12:00-1:00 p.m.| Zoom/Register: here
MICaB-Immunology Invited Speaker Seminar  

Stefani Thomas, PhD, 
*MICaB Graduate Program Faculty Candidate*
Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Mn
Faculty Advocate: Kaylee Schwertfeger

"Establishing a mass spectrometry-based proteomics toolbox to elucidate ovarian cancer biology"

Looking for a place to write?

If you are writing and need a quiet place to gather your thoughts, we have a spot for you.

See Annette Bethke, 2-142 WMBB to check out the office key.