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Neuroimmunology Lab

Dr. Hafler is the William S. and Lois Stiles Edgerly Professor and Chairman, Department of Neurology and Professor of Immunobiology, Yale School of Medicine, and the Neurologist-in-Chief of the Yale New Haven Hospital. His lab has been a major force in bridging Immunology, Genetics, and Neurology in the understanding of multiple sclerosis (MS), and is credited with identifying central mechanisms underlying the disease's causes. His early seminal work demonstrated systemic immune involvement (NEJM 1985) and the first identification of myelin-reactive T cella in MS (Nature 1990). He elucidated why autoreactive T cells were dysregulated by the first identification of Tregs in humans, followed by demonstration of their dysfunctional state in autoimmune diseases (JEM 2004, Nature Med 2011). As a founding Broad Institute associate member, he identified the genetics variants that cause MS risk (NEJM 2007, Nature 2011). While identifying the biologic function of these genetic variants (PNAS 2009), he interrogated causative autoimmune SMPs on chromatid maps of multiple cell types, identifying key transcription factor binding sites and signaling pathways as potential treatment targets (Nature 2015). Focusing on environmental factors, he discovered that salt drives induction of pathogenic myelin reactive CD4 cells (Nature 2013, JCI 2015). Dr. Hafler become 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 American Academy of Neurology (AAN) for his MS research, the University of Miami Distinguished Alumni Award, the American Neurologic Association Adams Lectureship, the Dystel Prize for MS research from the AAN, and was elected to the National Academy of Medicine. He is among the most highly cited living neurologists (H-index 135).

The Hafler Laboratory focuses on understanding the fundamental immunology and the pathogenesis of human autoimmune disease.


Interested in joining our lab? We are always in search of talented individuals with a strong interest in immunology, neurology, biochemistry or molecular biology.

Please email a CV and cover letter to David Hafler.

Contact Us

Hafler Lab

300 George Street

New Haven, CT 06511

If you wish to inquire about seeing Dr. Hafler as a physician, please call (203) 785-4085 to arrange an appointment.

You can also reach the lab by calling: (203) 737-4802