Masopust Lab

The Masopust Lab

Graduate Students and Post Doctoral Fellows in the lab are working on research that is focused on CD8 and CD4 T cell responses to a variety of viral and bacterial infections to help understand the development of immunological protection from re-infection. We observe and manipulate pathogen specific T cell responses over time by using MHC tetramers, adoptive transfer of transgenic T cells, fluorescence flow cytometry and sorting, and gene microarry analysis. Upon activation in lymphoid tissue, rare pathogen-specific naïve T cells proliferate, acquire effector functions, disseminate throughout the organism, and contribute to the eradication of pathogens. In situations where antigen is successfully eliminated, most effector T cells die by apoptosis. However, a fraction of effector T cells escape death and differentiate into long-lived memory T cells that contribute to protective immunity. We are currently dedicated to elucidating the developmental cues that govern T cell migration to different anatomical locations, commitment to the memory lineage, and the contribution of memory T cell differentiation state and location to protection from re-infection. Memory T cells that reside at common portals of pathogen entry or infection, especially the intestinal mucosa, are of particular interest. By understanding these issues, we hope to contribute to the development of better vaccination strategies, and are currently focused on informing development of a protective HIV vaccine.


Graduate Students

Kristin Anderson, Ph.D.


Program: MICaB
Defense Year: 2014
Advisor: Dave Masopust
Dissertation Title: "Essential Discrimination of Vascular and Tissue Lymphocytes Redefines CD8 T Cell Responses to Respiratory Infection"

Current PositionPostdoctoral Fellow, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Phil Greenberg lab), Seattle, WA
Contact Info: 

Jason Schenkel, M.D., Ph.D.


Program: MICaB
Defense Year: 2014
Advisor: Dave Masopust
Dissertation Title: "The Distribution and Function of Resident Memory CD8 T Cells"

Current PositionResident (Clinical Pathology), Brigham & Women's Hospital, Boston, MA
Contact Info:

Elizabeth Steinert, Ph.D.

steinertProgram: MICaB
Defense Year: 2016
Advisor: Dave Masopust
Dissertation Title: "Evaluating memory CD8 T Cell quantity, distribution and migration."

Current Position:Postdoctoral fellow (Navdeep Chandel lab), Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
Contact Info:


Sathi Wijeyesinghe, Ph.D.

Sathi WProgram: MICaB
Defense Year: 2020
Advisor: Dave Masopust
Dissertation Title: "Expansive residence decentralizes immune homeostasis "

Current PositionMedical student, University of Minnesota Medical School 
Contact Info:


Post Doctoral Fellows

Kerry Casey, Ph.D.

caseyFellowship dates: 2008-2010
Research Emphasis: Utilized a series of cutting-edge technologies characterizing migration patterns and quantification and longevity of pathogen specific T cell memory. Work resulted in thevlaunch of a new field of CD8 T cell research, tissue-resident memory formation, and the first mechanistic description of memory T cell retention at mucosal sites.Challenged dogmatic beliefs in the differences in the immune systems of mice and men through the capture and immunophenotyping of wild mice showing that stimulation history and not genetics drives many of the observed discrepancies.

Current Position: Principal Scientist, Oncology Discovery Biology Division, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Princeton, New Jersey
Contact Info:


Nancy Fares-Frederickson, Ph.D.

Nancy Fares-FredericksonFellowship dates: 2017-20
Research Emphasis: Studied the establishment and function of CD4+ resident memory T cells in response to viral exposure at mucosal barrier tissues.

Current Position: Medical/Technical Writer, Abbott Laboratories
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Luke Manlove, Ph.D.

luke m

Fellowship dates: 2015-2016
Research Emphasis:Heterologous Vaccination and Checkpoint Blockade Synergize To Induce Antileukemia Immunity. For a full list of publications

Current Position: Scientist 1, Gilead Sciences, Seattle Washington
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Pamela Rosato, PhD

pam rosato

Fellowship dates: 2015-2020
Research EmphasisTissue resident memory CD8 T cells (Trm) are present throughout non-lymphoid tissues of the body, poised to rapidly detect and activate upon pathogen re-encounter. I am investigating the mechanisms by which reactivated Trm create a potent immunostimulatory environment within local tissue, and how this can be harnessed as a potential cancer immunotherapy.

Current Position: Assistant Professor, Dartmouth College, Lebanon, NH
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Research Associates

Lalit Beura, PhD

Lalit B
Post Doctoral Fellow 2011-2017
Senior Research Associate 2017-2019
Laboratory of David Masopust

Research Emphasis/Publications: Evaluated T cell response in a chronic infection model leading to T cell dysfunction. Established a two-photon intravital microscopy technique to visualize T cells in a live mouse female reproductive tract. Characterized resident memory T cell reactivation in response to pathogen reencounter in
non-lymphoid tissues. Investigated the role of normal microbial exposure in driving immune differences between humans and laboratory mice. Established a "dirty mice" model that better recapitulates the adult human immune system. Full list of Publications

Current Position: Assistant Professor, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island
Current Info:


Kathryn Fraser, Ph.D.

Post Doctoral Fellow 2008-2012
Senior Research Associate 2012-2015
Laboratory of David Masopust

Research Emphasis/PublicationsPreexisting high frequencies of memory CD8+ T cells favor rapid memory differentiation and preservation of proliferative potential upon boosting.T cell memory. Resident memory CD8 T cells trigger protective innate and adaptive immune responses. full list of Publications

Current Position: Scientist II, Takeda, Boston, MA
Current Info: 


Masopust-Vezys Labs, Summer 2016
Bottom (L-R): C.Nelson, E.Steinhert, R.Fonesca, E.Thompson, C.Quarnstrom, P.Rosato
Middle (L-R): L.Manlove, L.Beura, D.Masopust, V.Vezys, O.Adam, A.Soerens
Back: T.Heim