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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Welcome to our two newest faculty members:    
Tanya Freedman, PhD and Ingunn Stromnes, PhD.

ingunn and tanya
The Center for Immunology would like to welcome Dr. Tanya Freedman, Department of Pharmacology  and Dr. Ingunn Stromnes, Department of Microbiology and Immunology to our group in WMBB.  Dr. Freedman came to the University after doing a post doctoral training with Dr. Arthur Weiss at UCSF.  Her lab at the University of Minnesota will build on her biochemistry and cell signaling background to continue the investigation of translational applications in tumor-associated and inflammatory macrophages.  Dr. Stromnes comes from the Greenberg lab at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.  Her laboratory will focus on developing and testing novel strategies to engineer T lymphocytes to safely eliminate recalcitrant cancers.  


Congratulations on faculty promotions and tenure!!

Please join the Center for Immunology in congratulating the following colleagues on their recent academic achievements:  Dr. Alex Khoruts and Dr. David Masopust have been promoted to a Professor.   Dr. Brian Fife and Dr. Vaiva Vezys have been promoted to an Associate Professor.  Dr. Tanya Freedman was awarded tenure.  This list shows the extraordinary caliber of our faculty at every stage of their careers while continuing to produce outstanding research, teaching and service to our students and community.  We all have reason to be very proud of their high quality research and accomplishments.


marc award

Dr. Marc Jenkins is the recipient of the 2017 Medical School Carole J. Bland Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award!

Congratulations to Dr. Jenkins on being selected as the recipient of the 2017 Medical School Carole J. Bland Outstanding Faculty Mentor award! This award is meant to recognize the process by which faculty serves as role models for each other, promoting the professional development of others and creating a supportive, positive working environment.  Dr. Jenkins was presented the award at the Medical School Promotion and Tenure Reception on June 15, 2017.  



In an April 2017 Nature Immunology article, Farrar and colleagues propose a potential strategy for inhibiting progenitor B cells from becoming cancerous.


A research team led by Michael FarrarProfessor and Utz Chair in Fundamental Immunobiology, investigated transcription factor networks as prognostic markers of disease severity.  They report their findings in “Antagonism of B cell enhancer networks by STAT5 drives leukemia and poor patient survival” published in Nature Immunology.

In earlier studies Farrar identified the transcription factor STAT5 as key to the transformation of progenitor B cells into leukemic cells, though the underlying mechanism for transformation was unclear.  In the newly published paper he and colleagues identify regulatory competition between STAT5 and the transcription factors IKAROS and NF-κB.  The STAT5 interaction with the IKAROS - NF-κB network serves as a “molecular switch” governing the proliferation, survival and differentiation of progenitor B cells.  The authors found that high regulatory imbalance between these antagonistic transcription-factor networks serves as a marker for severe disease and poor response to therapy.  They propose that addressing the regulatory imbalance is a potential strategy for inhibiting progenitor B cells from becoming cancerous.


More center news

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

    In this April 20, 2016 issue of Nature, Lalit Beura, Sara Hamilton, Marc Jenkins, Vaiva Vezys, Steve Jameson, Dave Masopust, show evidence of how laboratory rodents can skew immunology research but that "dirty mice" can clean up the results. Read more

  • Tolerance is established in polyclonal CD4+ T cells by distinct mechanisms, according to self-peptide expression patterns

    In this February 2016 Nature Immunology article, Deepali Malhotra, T. Dileepan, You Jeong Lee, Brian Fife, Kris Hogquist, Marc Jenkins, explain how tolerance mechanisms identified in eGFp-expressing mouse strains govern tolerance to true self antigens. Read more

  • Tumor specific T cells interacting with B16 Tumor cells& CD11c YFP DCs, courtesy of Brian Fife and Jason Mitchell

    Jason Mitchell and Brian Fife show Tumor specific T cells (red and green) interacting with B16 Tumor cells (blue) and CD11c YFP DCs (yellow)

  • Efficient generation of monoclonal antibodies against peptide in the context of MHCII using magnetic enrichment.

    In this June 2016 Nature Communications article Justin Spanier, Dmitri Kotov, Marc Jenkins, Brian Fife, et al show that after infection with Listeria monocytogenes expressing 2W and W6 antibody treatment, 2W-specific cells were magnetically enriched from the spleen of C57Bl6 mice. Read More

  • Regulated activation of TGF-b by stromal cells can directly control epithelial residence of cells of the immune system through a novel mechanism of intercellular communication.

    Javed Mohammed, Dave Masopust, Lalit Beura, Emily Thompson and Dan Kaplan, et al, report that UV irradiation promotes Langerhans cell migration through diminished integrin expression and TGF-b activation. Read More

  • Antagonism of B cell enhancer networks by STAT5 drives leukemia and poor patient survival

    In Nature Immunology, April 2017, Casey Katerndahl, Lynn Heltemes-Harris and Michael Farrar, identify that the activation of STAT5 acts in synergy with pre-BCR signaling defects to deregulate the expression of NF-κB target genes. Read More

  • Marc Jenkins, PhD

    Director, Center for Immunology; Distinguished McKnight University Professor, Microbiology and Immunology

  • Brian Fife, PhD

    Associate Professor, Medicine

  • David Masopust, PhD

    Professor, Microbiology and Immunology

  • Announcements

    U of MN Faculty

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    Tea and Talk!!

    every Monday and Thursday

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

    July 31

    Immunology Journal Club
    Schwertfeger Lab

    9:30-10:30 a.m. | 3-224 CCRB

    August 2

    Immunology Supergroup
    Hogquist Lab

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

    August 4

    Thesis Defense
    Emily thompson-Vezys lab

    "Visualizing CD8+ T cell responses to foreign and self-antigen"

    3:00-4:00 p.m. | 2-102 CMRR

    August 7

    Immunology Journal Club
    Binstadt Lab

    9:30-10:30 a.m. | 3-224 CCRB

    August 9

    Immunology Supergroup
    Farrar Lab

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

    August 10

    Comparative Oncology/Immunology Seminar
    CVM Summer Scholars in Oncology: Emily Pope (Largaespada), Rochelle Hartson (Modiano), Marika Klosowski (Dickerson), Kerry Goldin (Seelig)

    12:00-1:00 p.m. | Room 280 VDL (St. Paul)
    Pizza lunch is served.

    August 14

    Immunology Journal Club
    Hogquist Lab


    9:30-10:30 a.m. | 3-224 CCRB


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