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Juliana Idoyaga, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University School of Medicine where she studies the basic biology of dendritic cells and their applications towards therapeutics. In addition to her research, she is heavily committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in STEM, and the career development of undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral trainees.Dr. Idoyaga received her BSc in Biology and Immunology from the Buenos Aires University in Argentina. She then completed her PhD in Immunology and Biomedical Sciences with honors at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. She performed her postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Cellular Physiology and Immunology at The Rockefeller University under the mentorship of the late Nobel Laureate Dr. Ralph Steinman. She joined Stanford Faculty in July 2014. In addition to her faculty role, Dr. Idoyaga serves as the chair of the CDIII (Community, Diversity and Inclusion in Immunology) Committee, which has the important goal of promoting a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in the Stanford Immunology Program. Dr. Idoyaga has received various awards including the NIH Pathway to Independence Award, the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, Baxter Foundation Faculty Scholar Award, and the Gabilan Faculty Fellow Award. Dr. Idoyaga’s research interests have spanned dendritic cell subset tissue localization, function, and the development of dendritic cell-targeted vaccines and therapies. The current areas of research in the Idoyaga Lab include: (1) unraveling dendritic cell heterogeneity in humans and tissues; (2) dissecting the origin and functional specialization of emerging dendritic cell subsets; and (3) harnessing the endowed function of dendritic cell subsets for immunotherapies and vaccines.
The Idoyaga Lab is focused on the function and biology of dendritic cells, which are specialized antigen-presenting cells that initiate and modulate our body’s immune responses. Considering their importance in orchestrating the quality and quantity of immune responses, dendritic cells are an indisputable target for vaccines and therapies. Dendritic cells are not one cell type, but a network of cells comprised of many subsets or subpopulations with distinct developmental pathways and tissue localization. It is becoming apparent that each dendritic cell subset is different in its capacity to induce and modulate specific types of immune responses; however, there is still a lack of resolution and deep understanding of dendritic cell subset functional specialization. This gap in knowledge is an impediment for the rational design of immune interventions. Our research program focuses on advancing our understanding of mouse and human dendritic cell subsets, revealing their endowed capacity to induce distinct types of immune responses, and designing novel strategies to exploit them for vaccines and therapies.