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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

 

Latest News 

The American College of Rheumatology awards Bryce Binstadt, M.D., Ph.D. the 2021 Award of Distinction for Excellence in Investigative Mentoring

Bryce BinstadtEach year the American College of Rheumatology recognizes its members' outstanding contributions to the field of rheumatology through an awards program. This year an excellent researcher, instructor, mentor, practitioner & leader was awarded the 2021 Excellence in Investigative Mentoring Award. Bryce Binstadt embodies the Excellence in Investigative Mentoring Award. This award recognizes the importance of the mentor/mentee relationship. A dedicated mentor can significantly influence the successful development and career of a mentee. This award honors an active ACR or ARP member for their contributions to the rheumatology profession through outstanding and ongoing mentoring. Funding support for this award of distinction is provided by the Rheumatology Research Foundation.  Dr. Binstadt is routinely recognized as a Minnesota "Top Doctor" and he is a distinguished University teaching professor in the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Department of Pediatrics. He has a successful lab that is working on understanding the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases with particular emphasis on immune-mediated cardiovascular disease, he is a clinical pediatric rheumatologist who cares for children with arthritis, lupus, dermatomyositis, and related rheumatologic disorders, the Director of the Pediatric Rheumatology Fellowship Training Program, an Associate Director of the Medical Scientist Training Program (M.D./Ph.D.), and Director of the Pediatric Physician-Scientist Training Program. CFI would like to Congratulate Dr. Binstadt on this well distinguished and deserved honor!!

 

AIRE to host Postdoc Grant Writing Seminar & Workshop
Postdoc Grant Writing Seminar & Workshop

AIRE is excited to announce an upcoming workshop focused on applying for postdoc fellowships. We hope this will be a useful resource for postdocs who are unable to utilize graduate grant resources but aren't quite ready for advanced career grants (K99s, etc.) that are reviewed in CFI's grant review group.

The Workshop will consist of 3 sessions (weeks of 9/27, 10/11, & 11/1) in which small groups of 3-4 applicants will meet with one faculty and one postdoc mentor to review and provide peer-peer feedback on various sections within each applicants' grant (more specifically: Specific Aims, Training Plan, Research Plan). Please note, this workshop is designed specifically for postdocs applying for fellowships (F32s, ACS fellowships, etc.) and late-stage graduate students interested in applying for the NIH F99 transition grant or preparing for postdoc grants. If you are interested in the workshop, please RSVP ASAP to ensure that we are able to provide sufficient mentorship and support for all interested participants!


RSVP here: https://z.umn.edu/CFI-2021-grant-writing. Find attached the full flyer with information. 
 
Questions? Email Nicholas, Tori, and Michael. Hope you're able to join us!

 

CFI Postdoctoral Fellows honored as part of National Postdoc Appreciation Week

Mily, Katie, NickDrs. Silva Morales, Block and Jarjour

Dr. Milagros Silva Morales received the 2021 University of Minnesota Postdoc Award in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in our Academic Community and Drs. Katherine Block and Nicholas Jarjour have been awarded the 2021 Service to the Academic Community award from the Office of Professional Development and the UMN Postdoctoral Association during the celebration of National Postdoc Appreciation Week! The Postdoctoral Association of the University of Minnesota has put together a series of events to bring UMN postdoctoral researchers together and showcase their excellent contributions to research and the community during National Postdoc Appreciation Week (NPAW).

 

Meagan Rollins Named 2021-2022 Dennis W. Watson Fellowship Recipient

M RollinsCFI would like to congratulate Meagan Rollins, the recipient of the 2021-2022 Dennis W. Watson fellowship. The Watson Fellowship is an annual competitive award for microbiology track students beginning their fourth year of study in the MICaB program and have as their faculty advisor a member of the microbiology faculty or MICaB microbiology track faculty. The student receives a one-year non-renewable fellowship in addition to a $500 cash award.

Meagan is a fourth-year graduate student in Ingunn Stromnes lab.  Her current research emphasis is understanding mechanisms of T cell exhaustion and engineered T cell immunotherapy for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

 

Congratulations to Lucy Sjaastad, 2021 Pfizer Junior Investigator Award for Most Promising Research Presentations

Lucy S-Pfizer award

Lucy Sjaastad a 4th-year MICAB graduate student in Dr. Michael Farrar’s lab was awarded the Pfizer Junior Investigator Award for Most Promising Research Presentation at their Cytokines 2021 Hybrid Meeting. Along with a monetary award the highest scoring trainees are invited to participate in a Pfizer symposium. The symposium will feature a networking event to introduce the award winners to associated research groups within Pfizer and expose the trainees to potential collaborations and career opportunities in industry. The awards are sponsored by Pfizer in recognition of the next generation of cytokine & interferon researchers! Lucy studies regulatory T-cell (Treg) development and functions during infection.  Recently, Lucy and her collaborators identified a unique population of Tregs that express a strong interferon-stimulated gene (ISG) signature.  These Tregs are present in mice at steady-state and expand in the lungs and draining lymph nodes during infection with influenza A virus.  Interestingly, ISG-Tregs emerge earlier during infection and express a distinct T-cell receptor repertoire but the function of these cells is unknown.  Using a novel mouse model that enables inducible depletion of ISG-Tregs, Lucy and her colleagues aim to dissect the function of these Tregs during influenza infection.

 

Milcah Scott is awarded a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship

Milcah ScottCFI would like to congratulate Milcah Scott, a predoctoral student in the Masopust Lab. Milcah was awarded the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship for her work on a suite of contemporary and complementary whole animal, cellular and molecular approaches to better define the transcriptional programs and phenotypes of stringently-identified, bona fide tissue resident memory CD8 T cells (TRM). Refined analyses of TRM will broaden our understanding of how TRM are generated and maintained in tissues and are key to addressing deficiencies in our understanding of how (TRM) effect pathogen protection, tumor control, and autoimmune pathogenesis. The purpose of the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship award is to enable promising predoctoral students to obtain individualized, mentored research training from outstanding faculty sponsors while conducting dissertation research in scientific health-related fields to enhance the individual’s potential to develop into a productive, independent research scientist.

 

Congrats JTJ.T. Greene, Ph.D. from the Freedman lab was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship from the American Cancer Society to support his ongoing research and training.  The Cancer Society awards researchers who are within 3 years of receiving a doctoral degree initial funding to start training for an independent career in cancer research. J.T. was also awarded The Ben G. Zimmerman Travel Award from the Department of Pharmacology, this award supports the participation (poster or oral presentation) of graduate students and postdoctoral trainees at scientific conferences.  

 

Marc Jenkins elected to the National Academy of Sciences and AAI awards him their highest honor: The Lifetime Achievement Award!

Marc NAS photo

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.

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 2020-21 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. The Virtual IMMUNOLOGY2021™ was held May 10–15, if you missed the awards presentation, click here

  • Enhanced CD4+ and CD8+ T cell infiltrate within convex hull defined pancreatic islet borders as autoimmune diabetes progresses

    Nature's Scientific Reports, August 25, 2021 issue has an article by Alex Dwyer in the Fife lab on a new process to identify islet damage where he introduces an automated convex hull-based analytical procedure using a macro written in FIJI for inflammation. This new tool could elevate inflammation for diabetes assessment and inflammation in general. Read more here: https://z.umn.edu/72ty

  • CD40 Agonist Overcomes T Cell Exhaustion Induced by Chronic Myeloid Cell IL-27 Production in a Pancreatic Cancer Preclinical Model

    The Stromnes lab was recently awarded an RO1 based on the work led by Dr. Adam Burrack. His recent first author  J. Immunol and Cell Report papers have identified a mechanistic basis for T cell exhaustion in pancreatic cancer and a feasible clinical strategy to overcome it.

  • Expansible residence decentralizes immune homeostasis

    While working on his doctoral thesis in the Masopust lab, Sathi Wijeyesinghe found that expansibility and tissue residency are generalizable qualities that underlie immune homeostasis, building on our initial exploration of resident memory T cell durability and maintenance, his "story" can be read in the March 2021 edition of Nature.

  • MHC class II tetramers engineered for enhanced binding to CD4 improve detection of antigen-specific T cells.

    In the May 2021 issue of Nature Biotechnology, a study led by Dr. T. Dileepan from the Jenkins group examined the effect of MHC class II tetramers engineered for enhanced binding, to improve the detection of low-affinity CD4 antigen-specific T cells go.nature.com/337Y6nY

  • T cell memory: Understanding COVID-19

    As the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has progressed, increasing attention has focused on establishing natural and vaccine-induced immunity against this coronavirus and the disease, COVID-19, that it causes. In the 2021 preprint issue of Immunity, Jarjour, Masopust and Jameson explain the fundamental features of T cell memory and their potential relevance for effective immunity to SARS-CoV-2. Read here
  • Limited proliferation capacity of aortic intima resident macrophages requires monocyte recruitment for atherosclerotic plaque progression

    A study published in Nature Immunology which was led by Jesse Williams has formed new answers regarding atherosclerosis, the build-up of fats, cholesterol and other substances in and on the artery walls. Read here.

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 

Announcements

Mondays and Thursdays
2:00-2:30pm| 2-163 WMBB
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COVID-19 Scientific Daily Update
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Mon. Seminars: Oct. 25

CFI Fall Retreat
9:00am-6:00pm|Huntington Bank Stadium
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Immunology Journal Club
Canceled

**Hybrid this week**
9:00-10:00am|3-143 WMBB|Zoom:here
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MICaB-Immunology Invited Speaker Seminar

Canceled

**Virtual this week**
12:00-1:00 pm|1-125 CCRB|Zoom
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CFI Tea and Talk Time 

Returns to In-Person 
2:00-2:30pm|2-163 WMBB

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BGREAT and OPD Seminars:
Check calendar for all events

Too Creative for Science?
2pm – 3pm|Register
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Tues. Seminars: Oct. 26

Cancer Center Seminar Series
Check website for Zoom info.

Erin Marcotte, MPH, PhD
Assistant Professor-Pediatrics, UMN

9:00-10:00am|Zoom:here
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BGREAT and OPD Seminars:
Check calendar for all events
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IEM Otto Schmitt Distinguished Lecture

Melody Swartz, Ph.D.
Professor of Molecular Engineering, University of Chicago

“Immunoregulatory Roles of Lymphatic Vessels in Cancer and Opportunities for Immunoengineering”

12:00-1:00pm, Mississippi Room, Coffman
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AIRE/CFI Invited Postdoctoral Fellow Seminar Series

Ye-Ji Bang, Ph.D.
Dept. of Immunology,UT Southwestern

"Microbiota-induced vitamin A transport and its role in the intestinal immunity"

1:30-2:30pm|Zoom:here
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Wed. Seminars: Oct. 27

All-Medical School COVID-19 Forum
Post forum questions can be submitted here|Register
Next Meeting: Nov. 3 or check here
9:15-10:00am| Zoom:here
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BGREAT and OPD Seminars:
Check calendar for all events

Developing a Teaching Philosophy and Crafting Your Teaching Statement
11am – 12pm|Register
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Lillehei Heart Institute Lecture Series

Bradley A. Maron, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

"Advancing Precision Medicine: Individualized Interactomes in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy"

12:00-1:00pm|Webcast|1-101 MRF
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Immunology Supergroup
Farrar lab

**Hybrid this week**
1:30-2:30 pm|1-125 CCRB|Zoom

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Thurs. Seminars: Oct. 28

MICaB Student Seminar Series
**Hybrid seminar held in 1-110 LRB/MTRF and by Zoom**

Natalie David
Advisor: Mike Farrar

“Role of nuclear corepressors in T helper cell development and function”

12:00-1:00pm|1-110 LRB/MTRF or Zoom 
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IBP/MD Center Seminar Series

Dr. Christina Pacak

12:00-1:00pm|Zoom:here
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CFI Tea and Talk Time
2:00-2:30pm|2-163 WMBB
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BGREAT and OPD Seminars 
Check calendar for all events

Exploring the Intersections of Leadership, Equity, Inclusion, & YOU
9:00-10:30am|Register

Pursuing a Career Abroad - Where to Start?
12-1pm|Register  

Banishing Burnout
12:00-12:45pm|Register
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Friday Seminars: Oct. 29

Alessandro Bartolomucci, PhD
Associate Professor,IBP, UMN

"From molecular evolution to pharmacotherapies: a tale of two ligands (C3a, TLQP-21) and one receptor (C3aR1)"

and

Kris Hogquist, PhD
Professor, LMP, UMN

"Educating T cells"

10:00-11:00am|2-101 NHH|Zoom
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BGREAT and OPD Seminars 
Check calendar for events
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Save the date: 

November 1, 2021

2021 MICaB invited Speaker Seminar
Virtual via Zoom

Teresa Diloreno, PhD
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, NY
Host: Brian Fife
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Grant opportunities

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.