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


Latest News

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

Sid and Vaiva
Drs. Va
iva 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.

Dr. Steve Jameson is elected to the AAI Council

Steve J

CFI would like to extend our congratulations to Dr. Steve Jameson.  Dr. Jameson has been elected to the 2019-2023 AAI Council.  As a councillor, Dr. Jameson will be responsible for promoting the goals of AAI in order to advance the knowledge of immunology.  The council determines the nature and types of programs that can best achieve the mission of the AAI membership for the current and long-term sustainability of the association.  The council is comprised of AAI leaders that are recognized experts in their specific fields and are passionate about science and promoting development opportunities for researchers at every career stage. Dr. Jameson will begin his term on July 1, 2019.


Empowering Women in Science (EWIS) celebrates a year filled with achievements

EWIS end of year

Empowering Women in Science held their "End of Year Social" on May 28, 2019, at Dual Citizen Brewing Company in St. Paul. The event was an opportunity for women and allies to network, learn more about the EWIS mission, and celebrate each other's accomplishments. Some of the items that were celebrated: EWIS was awarded a Gender Equity Grant from the UMN Women's Center, Katie Murphy, Ph.D. presented the "How to be a Male Ally" seminar at the Department of Psychiatry Diversity and Inclusion Retreat and as part of the College of Veterinary Medicine Seminar Series. EWIS members Kristina Burrack, Ph.D., Janna Dickenson, Ph.D., Katie Murphy, Ph.D., and Milagros Silva Morales, PhD led a panel discussion at the Keeping our Faculty Symposium from the Institute for Diversity, Equity, and Advocacy entitled "Diversifying the STEM Fields: Problems and Solutions for Women in Science". The following career development events were held: Women in Industry Career Panel and Discussion, Negotiating Strategies for Academia (in collaboration with the Graduate School) and Changing STEM Culture Workshop (in collaboration with the Aurora Center). In an effort to bring more women into STEM careers, EWIS members made the following outreach/school visits: Brooklyn Center high school, Eden Prairie High School and St. Paul Music Academy all came to tour the Center for Immunology, several members helped out at the  Minnesota State Science and Engineering Fair, and judged at the Twin Cities Regional Science Fair.  Personal achievements of several members were also celebrated. Beth Adamowicz defended her thesis "Breaking the weakest link: ecology and evolution of antibiotic tolerance in cross-feeding bacterial communities" and earned her Ph.D. from the Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology program. Beth was also invited to serve on the National Institutes of Health Working Group of the Advisory Council to the Director on Changing the Culture to End Sexual Harassment. Milagros Silva Morales, Ph.D. was awarded the "Peter Bitterman Award for Outstanding Postdoctoral Basic Research" at the 20th Annual Robert P Hebbel Department of Medicine Research Day. To learn more about EWIS or to become a member, click here.


Dr. Marc Jenkins, director of the Center for Immunology, is named a University of Minnesota Regents Professor

marc 180x200The Center for Immunology would like to congratulate Dr. Marc Jenkins, who has been appointed a Regents Professor of the University of Minnesota. The Regents Professorship is the highest honor the University of Minnesota can bestow on its faculty. This program not only recognizes the national and international prominence of the faculty member, but it also acknowledges the exceptional contributions that have been made to the University through teaching, research, scholarship, creative work, and collaboration with others.  As one of the world’s most distinguished immunologists, Dr. Jenkins has devoted his career to understanding how CD4+ T and B cell activation coordinates the entire response to pathogens, cancer cells or other antigens in the body. Dr. Jenkins' research has helped establish basic immunological principles that have lead to more effective vaccines and immunotherapies for rheumatoid arthritis, transplant rejection, and cancer.  He is a prolific and highly cited research scientist with over 175 articles and more than 18,000 citations.  In addition to receiving many national research awards, including the Pew Scholars Award and the AAI Meritorious Career Award, Dr. Jenkins has been invited to give more than 450 research seminars, 35 of which were keynote or honorary lectures. He is an extraordinary teacher and actively engages both graduate and undergraduate students.  He was instrumental in the creation of the Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology Ph.D. program at the University of Minnesota and served as its first Director of Graduate Studies. His leadership established the program’s national reputation as a “premiere training environment in biomedical research.” Dr. Jenkins continues to influence those that he has, directly and indirectly, mentored over the years.  Dr. Jenkins recently received the  2018 AAI Excellence in Mentoring Award and the Carole J. Bland Outstanding Faculty Mentoring Award for his efforts. In a news release, President Eric Kaler stated: "Professor Jenkins exemplifies the very best of our University in teaching, research, and scholarship.” Read more 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 Mesher 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!

More center news.                                                                                                             Meet our Faculty

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 


U of MN Faculty

every Monday and Thursday

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

July 15

Immunology Journal Club
Hrishi Venkatesh-Farrar Lab

9:30-10:30 a.m.| 2-115 CCRB

July 15

Department of Microbiology and Immunology Special Seminar
Dr. Alvaro Banderas, Laboratoire Matiere de Paris-CNRS

"Ratiometric quorum sensing"

3:00-4:00 p.m. | 1-101 MRF

July 17

Immunology Supergroup
Jenkins Lab

1:30-2:30 p.m. | 1-125 CCRB 

July 17

Transplant Conference

4:00-5:00 p.m. | Surgery Conference Room, 11-157 PWB   

July 19

Microbiology & Immunology Centennial Celebration
Event Program and RSVP here

8:00-6:00 p.m. | McNamara Alumni Center

July 19

Microbiology & Immunology Centennial Lunch & Poster Session
Student Poster Sessions

12:00-2:45 p.m. | CCRB Atrium

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.