Joseph Craft, MD

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

Research Departments & Organizations

Internal Medicine: Diabetes Research Center | Rheumatology: Rheumatic Diseases Research Core | Rheumatology, Allergy, & Immunology: Rheumatology: Rheumatic Diseases Research Core

Immunobiology: Human and Translational Immunology Program

Yale Cancer Center: Cancer Immunology

Office of Cooperative Research

Research Interests

Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte; Autoimmune Diseases; Biology; Cytokines; Immunity; Investigative Techniques; Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic; Rheumatology

Research Summary

Dr. Craft investigates CD4 T helper cells in conventional and autoimmune responses in mice and in humans, with a primary focus upon the differentiation and function of follicular helper (Tfh) cells that promote B cell maturation in germinal centers (GC). Tfh cell dependent GC responses are critical for development of humoral immunity and B cell memory upon vaccine administration and following infection, and for driving pathogenic autoreactive B cell responses in autoimmune diseases. Dr. Craft’s studies on Tfh cells build upon the earlier work of his trainees and him in characterizing novel immune targets in the systemic autoimmune disease lupus, and studies of tolerance, inflammation, and therapy in that disorder. His group’s work on Tfh cells focuses upon their development, transcriptional control, and promotion and regulation of GC B cells in normal and autoimmune responses. His lab also has investigated other CD4 T cell populations, including those that promote immune memory and inflammation

Specialized Terms:  T cell development, T cell differentiation and function, autoimmunity; lupus; tolerance

Extensive Research Description

Ongoing studies are targeted towards identification of the developmental pathways of CD4 T cells that provide B cell help and that promote inflammation, and dissection of their potential to promote autoimmunity and inflammation.

Selected Publications

See list of PubMed publications

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