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Our People

Faculty and research scientists within the Department of Immunobiology.

Faculty

  • Jeffrey Bender

    Robert I. Levy Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) and Professor of Immunobiology; Associate Chief, Cardiovascular Medicine, Internal Medicine; Director, Yale Cardiovascular Research Center, Internal Medicine

  • Marcus Bosenberg

    Professor of Dermatology, Pathology, and Immunobiology; Co-Leader, Genetics, Genomics and Epigenetics, Yale Cancer Center; Interim Director, Yale Center for Immuno-Oncology; Director, Yale SPORE in Skin Cancer

    Marcus Bosenberg M.D., Ph.D., is a physician scientist who directs a leading melanoma research laboratory, is Co-Leader of the Genomics, Genetics and Epigenetics Program of the Yale Cancer Center, Director of the Yale SPORE in Skin Cancer, and is a practicing dermatopathologist at Yale Dermatopathology through Yale Medicine.

    In his research, Dr. Bosenberg studies the genetics and cellular changes that result in melanoma, the leading cause of skin cancer deaths. His laboratory has developed several widely utilized mouse models in order to study how melanoma forms and progresses, to test new melanoma therapies, and how the immune system can be stimulated to fight melanoma. He works to translate basic scientific findings into improvements in melanoma diagnosis and therapy. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles, is a member of the Yale Cancer Center Executive Committee, and is a faculty member of the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Institute for Biological, Physical, and Engineering Sciences.

    Dr. Bosenberg mentors undergraduate, graduate, medical, and MD-PhD students in his laboratory, teaches at Yale School of Medicine, and trains resident physicians, fellows, and postdoctoral fellows.

  • Alfred Bothwell

    Professor of Immunobiology; Member of HTI and VBT

    Al Bothwell graduated with an A.B. from Washington University in 1971, got a PhD from Yale in Sidney Altman’s lab in 1975 and then did a postdoc with David Baltimore at MIT where he established the genetic basis of the anti-NP idiotypic antibody response. He has been on the Immunobiology faculty at the Yale Medical School since 1982. He continued studies of B cell antibody diversity and memory and then worked on T cell receptor structure/function and signaling. He also developed the molecular genetics of the Ly6 gene family (aka Sca-1/Ly6A and Ly6C). Increasingly his work has shifted to studies of human immunity with development of humanized mouse models of vascular disease/transplantation, type 1 diabetes and cancer. Studies on gut inflammation in a genetic tumor model and Inflammatory Bowel Disease have lead most recently to contributions concerning wnt signaling to infections and asthma. His studies focus on the remarkable immunoregulatory properties of Wnt signaling that is both canonical and non-canonical and involves direct interaction with platelets.This is a basic mechanism for regulating tissue permeability affecting the mobility of lymphocytes and tumor cells.

  • Grace Chen

    Assistant Professor

    Grace Chen received her undergraduate training in the College of Chemistry at UC Berkeley. She attended Harvard University for her PhD where she worked in David Liu's laboratory to discover and characterize novel RNA modifications. Her postdoctoral research was at Stanford University in Howard Chang's group, where she investigated circular RNA immunity. Grace Chen joined Yale University as a faculty in the Department of Immunobiology in 2019. Her research focuses on the functions and regulations of circular RNAs in health and disease.

  • Lieping Chen

    United Technologies Corporation Professor in Cancer Research and Professor of Immunobiology, of Dermatology and of Medicine (Medical Oncology); Co-Leader, Cancer Immunology, Yale Cancer Center

    Lieping Chen studies immune cell communications via cell surface protein-protein interactions. He is also interested in translating laboratory findings to treat human diseases including cancer, autoimmune diseases and infection. 

    In 1992, Dr. Chen showed the first proof-of-concept study that the B7-CD28 family molecules could be the targets for cancer immunotherapy. This study inspires subsequent studies targeting the B7-CD28 family molecules for the treatment of human cancer.

    In 1999, Dr. Chen, then at the Mayo Clinic, first to discover a molecule he called B7-H1, which is now also known as PD-L1. He subsequently showed that PD-L1 is expressed by several types of tumors and that its activity can cause the death of T cells, thus preventing them from eliminating cancer cells. Bringing these lines of inquiry full circle, he later showed that blocking this interaction between PD-1 and PD-L1 by monoclonal antibodies improved the immune system’s ability to eliminate tumors in a 2002 paper. Chen’s work provided an important foundation for the subsequent development of immunotherapies designed to block this activity, and thereby enable more effective immune responses against cancer. Dr. Chen also initiated and help organized the first-in-man clinical trial of anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody for treating human cancer in 2006, when he moved to the Johns Hopkins Medical Institute, and developed PD-L1 staining as a biomarker to predict treatment outcome.  His discoveries directly led to the development of anti-PD-1/PD-L1 antibody therapy against broad spectrum of human cancers. These discoveries have revolutionized cancer treatment.

    Other important breakthroughs made by Dr. Chen's laboratory include the development of an agonist antibody against the 4-1BB co-stimulatory pathway, also known as CD137. Multiple 4-1BB-targeting antibodies have since been developed and are now being evaluated in clinical trials for a variety of cancer types. Dr. Chen’s laboratory also discovered various molecular pathways with T cell costimulatory and coinhibitory functions and/or their applications in human disease treatment. These pathways include B7-H2 (ICOSL), B7-H3, B7-H4, B7-H5/CD28H, PD-1H (VISTA), TNFRSF19, RELT, LIGHT/HVEM, B7-H2/CD28/CTLA-4 (human), SALM5/HVEM, FGL1/LAG-3, Siglec-15 etc. Many of these findings are now being developed clinically for the treatment of human diseases.

  • Joseph Craft

    Paul B. Beeson Professor of Medicine (Rheumatology) and Professor of Immunobiology; Paul B. Beeson Professor of Medicine; Program Director, Investigative Medicine

    Dr. Joseph Craft is Paul B. Beeson Professor of Medicine and Professor of Immunobiology at the Yale University School of Medicine, and past chief of the Section of Rheumatology at Yale. He received his degrees in chemistry as a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and in medicine as an Alpha Omega Alpha graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Dr. Craft did postgraduate training in internal medicine and in rheumatology and immunology at Yale, and has been on the faculty at that institution since 1985. At Yale, he teaches undergraduate, graduate, and medical students. He directs a research laboratory devoted to understanding the immune response to pathogens and vaccines, and dissecting and treating autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, with a primary focus upon the differentiation, metabolism, and function and regulation of T cells that promote B cell maturation in secondary lymphoid organs. His research has been continually supported by the National Institutes of Health since 1985, and he is a two-time R37 (MERIT) Awardee. He has been a primary mentor for over 20 postdoctoral fellows and for 21 PhD and MD/PhD graduate students, including 7 graduate students currently in his lab. Dr. Craft is Director of the Investigative Medicine Program at Yale, a unique program designed to provide Ph.D. training for physicians, and in his capacity as Director of the program and its Director of Graduate Studies, has supervised training of over 50 Investigative Medicine PhD students. Dr. Craft is recipient of the Bohmfalk Teaching Prize at Yale School of Medicine for outstanding teaching in the basic sciences. He is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Kunkel Society. Dr. Craft also is a member of the Board of Lupus Therapeutics of the Lupus Research Alliance, devoted to initiating novel therapeutic trials in lupus, and past Chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors at the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal, and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). He is former chair of the Immunological Sciences (now HAI) and current member of the Arthritis, Connective Tissue and Skin Diseases (ACTS) standing study sections at NIH, past chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Alliance for Lupus Research, and a former Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences and Kirkland Scholar. He is co-founder of L2Diagnostics, a company in New Haven, CT, formed in partnership with Yale University and devoted to discovery of new diagnostics and therapeutic targets for immunological and infectious diseases, and is currently a member of its Board of Directors.

  • Peter Cresswell

    Eugene Higgins Professor of Immunobiology and Professor of Cell Biology

    Dr. Cresswell is the Eugene Higgins Professor of Immunobiology and Professor of Cell Biology and Dermatology at Yale University School of Medicine.



    He received his B.S. degree in chemistry, his M.S. degree in microbiology from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, U.K., and his Ph.D. degree in biochemistry and immunology from London University. His postdoctoral training was completed at Harvard University with Jack Strominger.



    Before assuming his position at Yale, Dr. Cresswell was Chief of the Division of Immunology at Duke University Medical Center. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, U.K., and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Institute of Medicine.

  • Vishwa Deep Dixit

    Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Comparative Medicine and of Immunobiology

    Vishwa Deep Dixit completed Bachelor and Master of Veterinary Sciences in HAU, Hisar India. He received German Academic Exchange Service fellowship to conduct PhD research in Germany. He completed PhD coursework in HAU and Research Work in University of Hannover in Year 2000. He conducted postdoctoral research training in NIH. He joined Pennington Biomedical Research Center as an Assistant Professor in 2006 and moved to Yale as Professor of Comparative Medicine and Immunobiology in 2013. Dixit’s research is focused on understanding the interactions between metabolic and immune systems with the goal to reveal molecular targets that can be harnessed to control inflammation and immune dysfunction as means to enhance the healthspan. The research in Dixit Laboratory is funded by the National Institutes of Health, Glenn Foundation for Aging Research and Cure for Alzheimer Foundation.

  • Stephanie Eisenbarth

    Associate Professor of Laboratory Medicine, of Immunobiology and of Medicine (Immunology); Associate Chair of Research, Laboratory Medicine; Assistant Director of Clinical Pathology Residency Program

  • Richard Flavell

    Sterling Professor of Immunobiology; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

    Dr. Flavell is Sterling Professor of Immunobiology at Yale University School of Medicine, and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He received his B.Sc. (Honors) in 1967 and Ph.D. in 1970 in biochemistry from the University of Hull, England, and performed postdoctoral work in Amsterdam (1970-72) with Piet Borst and in Zurich (1972-73) with Charles Weissmann. Before accepting his current position in 1988, Dr. Flavell was first Assistant Professor (equivalent) at the University of Amsterdam (1974-79); then Head of the Laboratory of Gene Structure and Expression at the National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, London (1979-82); and subsequently President and Chief Scientific Officer of Biogen Research Corporation, Cambridge, Massachusetts (1982-88). Dr. Flavell is a fellow of the Royal Society, a member of the National Academy of Sciences as well as the Institute of Medicine. Richard Flavell uses transgenic and gene-targeted mice to study Innate and Adaptive immunity, T cell tolerance and activation in immunity and autoimmunity,apoptosis, and regulation of T cell differentiation.

  • Ellen F Foxman

    Assistant Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Immunobiology

    Dr. Foxman's research interest is understanding the natural mechanisms that protect the airway from respiratory viruses. Recent evidence shows that respiratory viruses enter the airway much more frequently than they cause illness. Current projects focus on (1) identifying the antiviral defense mechanisms of the airway epithelium, (2) understanding how the environment influences antiviral defense and tips the balance between health and disease upon exposure to a virus, and (3) using biomarkers of the body's response to infection to diagnose the cause of respiratory symptoms.

    Background. Dr. Foxman received her M.D. and Ph.D. training at Stanford University, and her residency training in Clinical Pathology, a medical specialty devoted to diagnostic testing, at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, MA. Her postdoctoral studies in host-virus interactions were conducted with the mentorship of Akiko Iwasaki in the Department of Immunobiology at Yale. These studies demonstrated mechanisms whereby cool ambient temperature permits growth of the common cold virus by diminishing antiviral responses of airway epithelial cells. Dr. Foxman is currently an Assistant Professor in the Yale Department of Laboratory Medicine.

  • Ann Haberman

    Associate Professor of Immunobiology; Director, In Vivo Imaging Facility; Director, Flow Cytometry Facility

    Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania (1992)

  • David A. Hafler

    William S. and Lois Stiles Edgerly Professor of Neurology and Professor of Immunobiology; Chair, Department of Neurology; Neurologist-in-Chief, Yale New Haven Hospital

    Dr. Hafler is the William S. and Lois Stiles Edgerly Professor and Chairman Department of Neurology, Yale School of Medicine and is the Neurologist-in-Chief of the Yale-New Haven Hospital. He graduated magna cum laude in 1974 from Emory University with combined B.S. and M.Sc. degrees in biochemistry, and the University of Miami School of Medicine in 1978. He then completed his internship in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins followed by a neurology residency at Cornell Medical Center-New York Hospital in New York.

    Dr. Hafler received training in immunology at the Rockefeller University then at Harvard where he joined the faculty in 1984. He was one of the Executive Directors of the Program in Immunology at Harvard Medical School and was on the faculty of the Harvard-MIT Health Science and Technology program where he was actively involved in the training of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.

    Hafler, in many respects, is credited with identifying the central mechanisms underlying the likely cause of MS. His early seminal work demonstrated that the disease began in the blood, not the brain, which eventually led to the development of Tysabri to treat the disease by blocking the movement of immune cells from the blood to the brain. He was the first to identify myelin-reactive T cells in the disease, published in Nature, showing that indeed, MS was an autoimmune disorder. He then went on to show why autoreactive T cells were dysregulated by the first identification of regulatory T cells in humans followed by demonstration of their dysfunctional state in MS. As a founding, Broad Institute member, Hafler identified the genes that cause MS, published in the New England Journal of Medicine and Nature. More recently, he identified the key transcription factors and signaling pathways associated with MS genes as potential treatment targets. Finally, he recently discovered that salt drives induction of these pathogenic myelin reactive T cells, both works published in Nature. Hafler was the Breakstone Professor of Neuroscience at Harvard, and became Chairman of Neurology at Yale in 2009, where he has built an outstanding clinical and research program that strongly integrates medical sciences. He has received numerous honors including the Dystel Prize from the AAN for his MS research and is among the most highly cited living neurologists.

  • Kevan Herold

    C.N.H. Long Professor of Immunobiology and of Medicine (Endocrinology)

    My background and research are in translational immunology. I am interested in understanding the basis for autoimmune diseases and developing new therapies based on our understanding of disease mechanisms. My focus has largely been in the field of autoimmune Type 1 diabetes. The work encompasses basic laboratory work understanding the regulation of autoreactive T cells to clinical trials that involve novel therapeutics. As part of these studies I have also been very interested in analysis of beta cell function in Type 1 diabetes.

  • Akiko Iwasaki

    Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Immunobiology and Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology; Professor of Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

    Akiko Iwasaki received her Ph.D. from the University of Toronto (Canada) in 1998, and her postdoctoral training from the National Institutes of Health (USA) (1998-2000). She joined Yale University (USA) as a faculty in 2000, and currently is an Investigator of the HHMI and Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Department of Immunobiology, and of Department of Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology. Akiko Iwasaki’s research focuses on the mechanisms of immune defense against viruses at the mucosal surfaces. Her laboratory is interested in how innate recognition of viral infections lead to the generation of adaptive immunity, and how adaptive immunity mediates protection against subsequent viral challenge.

  • Nikhil Joshi

    Assistant Professor

    My laboratory uses intricate tumor models and advanced approaches to investigate immune cell interactions with developing tumors. My goal is to determine mechanistically why these interactions do not lead to more potent anti-tumor responses and to identify entry points for modulating these interactions through genetic manipulation and therapeutic intervention. My previous studies have focused on using established complex mouse models to investigate how subtypes of T cells in the tumor microenvironment impact tumor development. My laboratory will combine advanced genetic modeling of mice and immunologic techniques to address fundamental questions in tumor immunology.

  • Susan Kaech

    Professor Adjunct-Immunobiology

    Education

    Stanford University Ph.D., Developmental Biology 1993-1998
    University of Washington, Seattle, WA B.S., Cellular and Molecular Biology 1989-1993

    Professional Experience

    1990-1991 Undergraduate Researcher, Div. of Basic Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
    1991-1993 Undergraduate Researcher, Dept. of Zoology, University of Washington, Seattle
    1993-1998 Graduate Student, Dept. of Developmental Biology, Stanford University

    1999-2004 Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept. of Microbiology and Immunology and Emory Vaccine Center, Emory University
    2004-2009 Assistant Professor, Department of Immunobiology, Yale University

    2009-2015 Associate Professor, Department of Immunobiology, Yale University

    2015-present Professor, Department of Immunobiology, Yale University

    2009-2015 HHMI Early Career Scientist



    Honors and Awards

    National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship 1993-1996

    Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Research Fellowship 1999-2002

    Burroughs-Wellcome Foundation Award in Biomedical Sciences 2003-2008

    Edward Mallinckrodt Jr. Foundation Award 2005-2008

    Cancer Research Institute Investigator Award 2005-2009

    American Asthma Foundation Investigator 2007-2010

    Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) 2007

    Howard Hughes Early Career Scientist 2009-2015




  • Paula Kavathas

    Professor of Laboratory Medicine, of Immunobiology and of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology; Associate Chair for Academic Affairs, Laboratory Medicine - Education; Institutional Leader CIRTL Network; Chair, Women's Faculty Forum (2013-2017)

    Dr. Kavathas graduated with a B.A. in American Institutions, from the University of Wisconsin, writing her thesis on the role of Science in America in the 1960s. She obtained her Ph.D. in Genetics from the Department of Genetics, founded in 1921 as the first Genetics Department in the country. At Wisconsin with Dr. Robert DeMars on genetic analysis of the MHC region. As a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University with Dr. Leonard Herzenberg she developed a novel approach for cloning genes for cell surface proteins using the fluorescence activated cell sorter (FACS).

    At Yale she continued her studies on CD8 and recently has focused on the functional relevance of four isoforms of the CD8b protein that exist in humans and great apes but not mice. They are differentially expressed in naive T cells, activated T cells, and memory T cells. Signal transduction by the isoforms is different given that they differ only in their cytoplasmic tail. The clinical relevance of these isoforms for adoptive immunotherapy with T cells is one focus of the lab.

  • Steven Kleinstein

    Professor

    Dr. Steven Kleinstein is a computational immunologist with a combination of "big data" analysis and immunology domain expertise. His research interests include both developing new computational methods and applying these methods to study human immune responses. Dr. Kleinstein received a B.A.S. in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Princeton University. He is currently Professor of Pathology (with a secondary appointment in Immunobiology) at the Yale School of Medicine, and a member of the Interdepartmental Program in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (CBB), and the Human and Translational Immunology Program. 

    Specific areas of research focus include:

    • High-throughput B cell receptor (BCR) repertoire profiling (AIRR-seq or Rep-seq)
    • Immune signatures of human infection and vaccination responses


  • Martin Kriegel

    Associate Professor Adjunct

    Dr. Kriegel is an Assistant Professor of Immunobiology and of Medicine (Rheumatology) at Yale School of Medicine. In 2001, he received his MD/PhD equivalent at the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen, Germany, followed by the German Medical Licensure in 2002. From 2003 to 2006, he performed postdoctoral training in immunology at Yale with Dr. Richard Flavell before completing a medicine residency and rheumatology fellowship at Harvard (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Brigham & Women’s Hospital). During this time, he performed additional postdoctoral research at Harvard Medical School with Drs. Diane Mathis and Christophe Benoist. Dr. Kriegel returned to Yale in 2012 as a tenure-track faculty member in the Department of Immunobiology. He is also a board-certified rheumatologist at Yale-New Haven Hospital and maintains a specialty clinic for antiphospholipid syndrome. His NIH-funded laboratory explores host-microbiota interactions in immune diseases by combining human microbiome studies with mechanistic work, which includes utilization of gnotobiotic models. He was an Emmy-Noether Scholar of the German Research Foundation, an Arthritis National Research Foundation Scholar, an awardee of the Lupus Research Institute, and the Arthritis Foundation. He serves as an Advisory Editor for Arthritis & Rheumatology and is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the German and American Association of Immunologists, the American College of Rheumatology, and the Society for Mucosal Immunology.