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.

Autoimmunity Cancer Vaccines Cures

  • 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


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Save the Date!! and RSVP: The 2019 Dean's Distinguished Research Lectureship Honors Dr. David Masopust on Nov. 13, 2019

dave The annual Dean’s Distinguished Research Lectureship honors up to two outstanding faculty members who are selected to share their research stories which detail the state of the science when they entered the field, changes that emerged due to their work, and plans or predictions for the future of medicine and basic science research. This year Dr. David Masopust and Dr. Melissa Geller will be honored in a ceremony held on Wednesday, November 13, 2019, from 4:15-7:15 in the Best Buy Theater in Northrop Auditorium. RSVP here

Dr. Borges da Silva awarded an NIH Pathway to Independence Award

HenriqueCFI would like to congratulate Dr. Henrique Borges da Silva from the Jameson lab, he has been awarded a NIAID research grant to support his work. This fellowship aims to harness a strong cohort of new NIH-supported independent investigators. K99/R00 awardees receive support for independent projects and facilitate their transition to tenure-track or equivalent faculty positions. Henrique will work on the project: "Defining the function of extracellular ATP sensing for memory CD8+ T cell generation and longevity", and will seek to better understand how the "danger signal" eATP controls the long-term establishment of CD8 T cell memory.


Former UMN researcher Max D. Cooper, M.D. along with his colleague Jacques Miller, Ph.D. win the 2019 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award  

Max Cooper On September 10, 2019, Drs. Max Cooper and Jacques Miller won the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award "for their discovery of the two distinct classes of lymphocytes, B and T cells - a monumental achievement that launched the course of modern immunology". The Lasker Awards are America’s most prestigious biomedical research awards, also labeled the American Nobels, and for the past 74 years have recognized the contributions of leaders who made major advances in the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of human diseases. Recipients of the Lasker Medical Research Awards are selected by a distinguished international jury. While at the University of Minnesota from 1963-1967, Dr. Cooper made the fundamental discovery with Drs. Robert Good and Raymond Peterson that there are two kinds of lymphocytes, B cells that make antibodies and T cells that mediate cellular immunity. Working with chickens, Dr. Cooper showed that an avian organ called the bursa of Fabricius is the site where B cells mature, and he then characterized the different stages of B cell development. Around the same time, Dr. Miller established that interactions between B and T cells are essential to their normal maturation and functions in mice. Later, Cooper and colleagues showed that, in mammals, B cells are generated in the liver of the fetus and in the bone marrow after birth. "These studies told us that almost everything we were thinking about in immunology had to be revised,” Dr. Cooper has said. These findings by Cooper which began over 50 years ago at the University of Minnesota have set the stage for several other important discoveries regarding immune deficiencies, treating autoimmune disorders and developing new cancer therapies. For a nice summary of both Cooper and Miller's contributions to the field of immunology, Dr. Ron Germain wrote an article in the New England Journal of Medicine


CFI's Alex Khoruts is quoted by NBC News 

Alex KOn August 25, 2019, NBC news quoted Dr. Alex Khoruts in regards to the lack of guidelines for fecal microbiota transplants (FMTs). As the number of transplants increased so did the methods of delivery.  Today the debate is whether or not to designate the FMT as an investigational drug or to continue with the FMTs as organ transplants.  Here is the full NBC article, to read more about Dr. Khorut's own work with FMTs click here for an interview done by Steve LeBeau for the magazine Global Advances in Health and Medicine.


Drs. Vezys and Bhela awarded the 2019 Careers in Immunology Fellowship

Sid and VaivaDrs. Vaiva Vezys and Siddheshvar Bhela have been awarded an American Association of Immunologists 2019 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. Sid Bhela will receive salary support for his work on the regulatory function of tolerant CD8+ T cells. Congratulations to both Drs. Vezys and Bhela.


Dr. Ingunn Stromnes awarded the 2019 Julia Stagliano Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Catalyst Grant

ingunn 1Congratulations to Dr. Ingunn Stromnes.  Dr. Stromnes was awarded the 2019 Julia Stagliano Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Catalyst Grant for her research project "Overcoming Immunotherapy Resistance in Pancreas Cancer". "I am incredibly honored to receive support from the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network for funding our research to develop safe and effective immunotherapies for pancreas cancer," said Stromnes. "My team is also enormously grateful for the generosity of Nancy Stagliano, who in memory of Julia Stagliano, supports pancreas cancer immunotherapy research."  The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) in partnership with generous donors, awarded grants to support pancreatic cancer research, for the full list see 2019 research grants. Through a highly competitive peer-review process, seven researchers across the U.S. were selected, bringing PanCAN’s total projected research investment to approximately $104 million, including its grants program and clinical and scientific initiatives. PanCAN’s competitive grants program funds promising and high-caliber research on pancreatic cancer. This is the 17th year of the research grant program, and the organization has awarded 174 grants to 170 scientists at 64 institutions. This is Dr. Stromnes’ second grant from the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN). She was previously awarded the Skip Viragh Career Development Award in 2017. To learn more about Dr. Stromnes project, click here.

The Center for Immunology proudly hosted its first-ever Alumni Celebration

ThanksOn Thursday, April 18, 2019, the Center for Immunology hosted its first Alumni Celebration. The event welcomed over 100 current faculty and students, alumni, professors and more. We were especially happy to welcome Drs. David Brown, Gus Dalmasso, Paul Quie and John Crosson who made special trips to campus just for the occasion of the reunion. At the event, the Robert A. Good Door was presented (see photos) and will be hung at the Center for Immunology.  Drs. Marc Jenkins and Matt Mescher also announced the creation of a new fund to enhance the student experience within the Center. The Mescher Trainee Enhancement fund, an endowed fund, will live in perpetuity at the University of Minnesota and will be available to the Center for Immunology's students. The fund will help with costs like conference registration and travel, equipment and technology, emergency needs and other expenses which can make all the difference in training the next generation of scientists.  To date, $60,000 has been raised with a goal of $100,000. If you were interested in making a gift, and have not done so yet - or were unable to attend the event but still want to support the CFI while honoring Dr. Mescher -visit the fund here. You may also contact Sarah Barsness at the University of Minnesota Foundation if you'd like to make a gift using your IRA, estate plans, donor-advised fund, or other means of charitable giving. Sarah's contact information is 612-625-5976 or Please click here to see all the great pictures taken at the event!

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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.

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U of MN Faculty

every Monday and Thursday

2:30 p.m. | 2-163 WMBB

September 23

Immunology Journal Club
Emily Truckenbrod-Jameson lab

9:00-10:00 a.m.| 2-115 CCRB
MICaB-Immunology Invited Speaker Seminar
Amit Sharma, Ph.D.
Department of Veterinary Biosciences, The Ohio State University, College of Medicine, Columbus, OH

“Viral and Host Determinants of SHIV Replication in Macaque Lymphocytes”

12:00-1:00 p.m.| 1-125 CCRB

September 24

Cancer Center Seminar Series
Ingunn Stromnes, PhD 
Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Minnesota

"Overcoming immunotherapy resistance in pancreatic cancer."

9:00-10:00 a.m. | 1-125 CCRB
Infection and Immunity Research Conference
Next conference: Sept 26, 2019 **Note the date change

8:00-9:00 a.m.| A-420 Mayo

September 25

Immunology Supergroup
Jenkins Lab

1:30-2:30 p.m. | 1-125 CCRB

September 26

Infection and Immunity Research Conference
 **Note the date change and room change**

8:00-9:00 a.m.| A-420 Mayo
MICaB Student Seminar Series
Robin Lee-Farrar Lab

“Nuclear corepressors NCOR1 and NCOR2 dynamically regulate proliferation and differentiation of developing and leukemic B cells”

12:00-1:00 p.m.| 1-110 LRB/MTRF

September 30

Immunology Journal Club
Miller Lab

9:00-10:00 a.m.| 2-115 CCRB
MICaB-Immunology Invited Speaker Seminar
Stephen McSorley, Ph.D. *MICaB Alumni Invited Speaker*
Center for Comparative Medicine: Anatomy, Physiology and Cell Biology, University of California, Davis, CA

"CD4 T cell responses to bacterial infection"

12:00-1:00 p.m.| 1-125 CCRB

October 1

Catherine Wu, MD, Professor, Medicine, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School

"Driving T cells into tumors: a role for personal cancer vaccines"

9:00-10:00 a.m. | 1-125

Save the Date-November 13, 2019 

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.