Welcome to Stanford Immunology
Stanford scientists have found links between changes in a person’s weight and shifts in their microbiome, immune system and cardiovascular system. The human body undergoes dramatic changes duing even shot periods of weight gain and loss, according to a study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. A paper describing the work was published online Jan. 17 in Cell Systems. The lead authors are Stanford postdoctoral scholars Wenyu Zhou, PhD, and Hannes Röst, PhD; staff scientist Kévin Contrepois, PhD; and former postdoctoral scholar Brian Piening, PhD. Senior authorship is shared by Michael Snyder, PhD, professor of genetics at Stanford; Tracey McLaughlin, MD, professor of medicine at Stanford; and George Weinstock, PhD, professor and director of microbial genomics at the Jackson Laboratory, an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution.
Stanford scientists have developed a biochemical screen that identifies molecules critical to immunotherapy for a host of diseases, including cancer. Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and their colleagues have developed a way to pinpoint potential targets for cancer therapies that rely on the body’s immune system. The researchers exploited years of structural and protein engineering studies by the laboratory of Christopher Garcia, PhD, professor of molecular and cellular physiology and of structural biology, to better understand how the immune system “sees” antigens. Based on this knowledge, they developed a technique to identify them. What’s more, the technique could serve to identify potential antigens relevant to other immunotherapies, such as those that combat autoimmune or infectious diseases. A paper describing the work was published online Dec. 21 in Cell. Stanford graduate student Marvin Gee and postdoctoral scholar Arnold Han, MD, PhD, share lead authorship of the paper. Garcia, who holds the Younger Family Professorship, is the senior author.
CD47 is an important inhibitor of cancer-killing immune cells called macrophages. Now Stanford researchers have identified another, similar way to activate macrophages to destroy cancer cells. A second biological pathway that signals immune cells not to engulf and kill cancer cells has been identified by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. “The development of cancer cells triggers the generation of SOS molecules recognized by the body’s scavenger cells, called macrophages,” said Irving Weissman, MD, the director of Stanford’s Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, and also of its Ludwig Cancer Center. “However, aggressive cancers express a ‘don’t eat me’ signal in the form of CD47 on their surfaces. Now we’ve identified a second ‘don’t eat me’ signal and its complementary receptor on macrophages. We’ve also shown that we can overcome this signal with specific antibodies and restore the ability of macrophages to kill the cancer cells.”
Stanford Immunology Students Combat Anti-Vaccine Movement with Video - "I Just Can't Wait for My Vaccine."
From the desk of Dr. Patricia Jones, Director
Stanford Immunology is home to faculty, students, postdocs and staff who work together to produce internationally recognized research in many fields of immunology. The long tradition of collaboration among the immunology laboratories at Stanford fosters highly productive interdisciplinary research, with an emphasis on the application of molecular approaches to problems in cellular and clinical immunology. Faculty research interests include both bench-to-bedside approaches and basic science research. Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars receive outstanding training through their participation in research, teaching, seminars, journal clubs, and the annual Stanford Immunology Scientific Conference. Many members of our community are also affiliated with Stanford Institutes of Medicine. Stanford Immunology joined the Institute of Immunity, Transplantation and Infection in January 2011.