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

  • Cutting Edge: Dual TCRa Expression Poses an Autoimmune Hazard by Limiting Regulatory T cell Generation

    In cutting edge research performed by the students and Post Doctoral fellows in the labs of Fife, Hogquist and Binstadt the hypothesis that dual TCR expression can promote autoimmunity by limiting agonist selection of self-reactive thymocytes is revisited . 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


  • CD8αα+ Intraepithelial Lymphocytes Arise from Two Major Thymic Precursors

    In an article published in Nature Immunology, Post Doctoral Fellows Ruscher and Lee from the Hogquist and Jameson lab wanted to better define the thymic IEL precursor, and were able to provide an important foundation for understanding the biology of CD8αα IELs. Read More


Latest News 

CFI welcomes our newest faculty member, Jesse Williams, PhD

jwJesse received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago mentored by Dr. Anne Sperling where he studied the crosstalk between dendritic cells and T cells in eliciting Th2-mediated allergic responses. He did his postdoctoral training with Dr. Gwendalyn Randolph at Washington University in St. Louis, where they studied pathways regulating the development of tissue-resident macrophages in models of atherosclerosis. At the University of Minnesota, Jesse’s lab will continue to work on elucidating mechanisms that regulate the recruitment and differentiation of innate immune cells in atherosclerotic plaque. Through collaborations within the Center for Immunology and using cutting edge approaches such as single-cell RNA sequencing and intravital imaging, Jesse hopes to make innovative observations that will expand our understanding of immunity in cardiovascular disease. Stop by his office on the third floor of WMBB and introduce yourself.


Gut check on cancer

alex 2019 The Spring 2019 edition of the University of Minnesota magazine Discovery spotlights the work being done by Dr. Alexander Khoruts as he and Dr. Timothy Starr co-lead a team of UMN scientists hoping to answer the questions about the human microbiome's relationship with cancer.  The work is currently being sponsored by the inaugural Chainbreaker Breakthrough Cancer Research Grant. Khoruts is excited by the work being done by the team and hopes that as the research progresses more people will rally around the studies that will promote long-term health and potentially avoid cancer treatment associated issues.  To read the entire article written by Barbara Knox, click here.


The Stromnes lab is selected to receive an AAI Intersect Fellowship in 2019.


Congratulations to Drs. Ingunn Stromnes, Adam Burrack, and Stephen Shen for being selected as one of ten recipients of the AAI Intersect Fellowship Program for Computational Scientists and Immunologists.  This fellowship is intended to improve understanding and communication between immunology researchers and computational scientists by affording an opportunity to train in each other’s discipline.  The Stromnes lab will work on the project: "Clonal and functional evolution of neoantigen specific T cells during immunotherapy of pancreatic cancer" along with Co-PI: Steve Shen, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, University of Minnesota. Details about this program may be found here


Dr. Kris Hogquist is selected as the 2019 AAI-Thermo Fisher Meritorious Career Award Recipient

Congratulations to Dr. Kris Hogquist, the 2019 AAI-Thermo Fisher Meritorious Career Award recipient. This award recognizes a mid-career scientist for outstanding research contributions to the field of immunology. Kris' research is focused on T cell development in the thymus, particularly positive and negative selection, tolerance, and T cell selection in immune homeostasis and response. AAI will honor Kris at the annual AAI meeting in San Diego, CA in May 2019.


Speaking Science: 8 tips for discussing your work

speaking science

On January 17, 2019, the University of Minnesota hosted a conference to help faculty, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate students more effectively share knowledge and research with audiences outside of academia. The conference brought faculty, post-doctoral researchers, and graduate students together from across disciplines at the University to improve their communication and storytelling skills. The one-day event, hosted by a collection of colleges and units from across the U of M Twin Cities, featured interactive training exercises, break-out sessions, and a keynote presentation by Emily Graslie, chief curiosity correspondent at Chicago’s Field Museum and creator and host of YouTube science channel “The Brain Scoop.” For those who couldn’t make it to the event, here are eight easy takeaways.  If you are interested in delving deeper into the art of oral presentation the Center for Immunology offers a yearly seminar series, known as the RED Seminars, standing for Relational Experience Development, the seminar series provides the principles of effective oral communication, examines deeper topics, and provides individual feedback. Please join us the first Monday of every month for the 2019 seminars: Mar. 4, April 1 and May 6 and June 6 at 9 a.m., the seminar is held in room CCRB 1-125.  All are welcome.


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 coordinate 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 PhD 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


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

March 25

Immunology Journal Club

9:00-10:00 a.m. | 1-125 CCRB
MICaB Invited Speaker Seminar

Hubert Tse, PhD
Department of Microbiology, University of Alabama-Birmingham

"Oxidative Stress, Antiviral Responses in Type 1 Diabetes and Islet Transplantation"

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

March 26

Cancer Center Seminar Series

Frank Furnari, PhD,
Professor-Department of Pathology, University of California-San Diego 

"Leveraging PTEN nuclear function for therapeutic intervention in glioma"

9:00-10:00 a.m. | 1-125 CCRB
Infection and Immunity Research Conference

Irina St. Louis, Assistant Professor
Medicine / IDIM

12:00-1:00 p.m. | 1-101 MRF (lunch provided)
Dirty Mouse Focused Data Club

1:30-3:00 p.m. | 1-101 MRF 

March 27

Immunology Supergroup

Biolegend Seminar

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

CVM Research Seminar Series

Lightning Talks:

Dr. Cathy Carlson
Dr. Davis Seelig

3:00-4:00 p.m.| rm 125 Animal Science/Vet Med Bldg., St. Paul (to view, click here)
Transplant Conference


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

March 28

MICaB Student Seminar

Sara Hamilton Hart, Ph.D.,
MICaB Graduate Faculty Candidate,

“CD8+ T cell-driven immunity and immunopathology”

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

April 1

Immunology Journal Club
RED Seminar Series

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

April 1

MICaB Invited Speaker Seminar

Vanessa Sperandio, Ph.D.
Department of Microbiology, University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas, TX

“You’re hot and you’re cold: Neurotransmitters modulation of bacterial virulence expression”

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

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.