Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Postdoctoral Committee, Immunology (2015 - Present)

Professional Education

  • Bachelor of Science, University of Washington (2007)
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Colorado Denver (2014)

Stanford Advisors


All Publications

  • Lymphocyte generation and population homeostasis throughout life SEMINARS IN HEMATOLOGY Yanes, R. E., Gustafson, C. E., Weyand, C. M., Goronzy, J. J. 2017; 54 (1): 33-38


    Immune aging is a multi-faceted process that manifests as reduced competence to fight infections and malignant cells, as well as diminished tissue repair, unprovoked inflammation, and increased autoreactivity. The aging adaptive immune system, with its high complexity in functional cell subpopulations and diversity of B- and T-cell receptors, has to cope with the challenge of maintaining homeostasis while responding to exogenous stimuli and compensating for reduced generative capacity. With thymic involution, nave T cells begin to function as quasi-stem cells and maintain the compartment through peripheral homeostatic proliferation that shapes the T-cell repertoire through peripheral selection and the activation of differentiation pathways. Similarly, reduced generation of early B-cell progenitors alters the composition of the peripheral B-cell compartment with the emergence of a unique, auto-inflammatory B-cell subset, termed age-associated B cells (ABCs). These changes in T- and B-cell composition and function are core manifestations of immune aging.

    View details for DOI 10.1053/j.seminhematol.2016.10.003

    View details for Web of Science ID 000393445800006

    View details for PubMedID 28088985

  • Mechanism of Mitochondrial Transcription Factor A Attenuation of CpG-Induced Antibody Production PLOS ONE Malarkey, C. S., Gustafson, C. E., Saifee, J. F., Torres, R. M., Churchill, M. E., Janoff, E. N. 2016; 11 (6)


    Mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM) had previously been shown to act as a damage associated molecular pattern with the ability to enhance CpG-A phosphorothioate oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN)-mediated stimulation of IFN? production from human plasmacytoid dendritic cells. Examination of the mechanism by which TFAM might influence CpG ODN mediated innate immune responses revealed that TFAM binds directly, tightly and selectively to the structurally related CpG-A, -B, and -C ODN. TFAM also modulated the ability of the CpG-B or -C to stimulate the production of antibodies from human B cells. TFAM showed a dose-dependent modulation of CpG-B, and -C -induced antibody production from human B cells in vitro, with enhancement of high dose and inhibition of low doses of CpG stimulation. This effect was linked to the ability of TFAM to directly inhibit the binding of CpG ODNs to B cells, in a manner consistent with the relative binding affinities of TFAM for the ODNs. These data suggest that TFAM alters the free concentration of the CpG available to stimulate B cells by sequestering this ODN in a TFAM-CpG complex. Thus, TFAM has the potential to decrease the pathogenic consequences of exposure to natural CpG-like hypomethylated DNA in vivo, as well as such as that found in traumatic injury, infection, autoimmune disease and during pregnancy.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0157157

    View details for Web of Science ID 000377563000098

    View details for PubMedID 27280778

  • Limited expression of APRIL and its receptors prior to intestinal IgA plasma cell development during human infancy MUCOSAL IMMUNOLOGY Gustafson, C. E., Higbee, D., Yeckes, A. R., Wilson, C. C., de Zoeten, E. F., Jedlicka, P., Janoff, E. N. 2014; 7 (3): 467-477


    The absence of immunoglobulin A (IgA) in the intestinal tract renders young infants highly susceptible to enteric infections. However, mediators of initial IgA induction in this population are undefined. We determined the temporal acquisition of plasma cells by isotype and expression of T cell-independent (TI) and -dependent (TD) IgA class switch factors in the human intestinal tract during early infancy. We found that IgA plasma cells were largely absent in the infant intestine until after 1 month of age, approaching adult densities later in infancy than both IgM and IgG. The restricted development of IgA plasma cells in the first month was accompanied by reduced expression of the TI factor a proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL) and its receptors TACI (transmembrane activator and calcium-modulator and cyclophilin ligand interactor) and B cell maturation antigen (BCMA) within isolated lymphoid follicles (ILFs). Moreover, both APRIL and BCMA expression strongly correlated with increasing IgA plasma cell densities over time. Conversely, TD mediators (CD40 ligand (CD40L) and CD40) were expressed within ILFs before 1 month and were not associated with IgA plasma cell generation. In addition, preterm infants had lower densities of IgA plasma cells and reduced APRIL expression compared with full-term infants. Thus, blunted TI responses may contribute to the delayed induction of intestinal IgA during early human infancy.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/mi.2013.64

    View details for Web of Science ID 000334923700003

    View details for PubMedID 24045575

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3959635

  • Neutralization of HIV subtypes A and D by breast milk IgG from women with HIV infection in Uganda JOURNAL OF INFECTION Palaia, J. M., McConnell, M., Achenbach, J. E., Gustafson, C. E., Stoermer, K. A., Nolan, M., Guay, L. A., Leitner, T. K., Matovu, F., Taylor, A. W., Fowler, M. G., Janoff, E. N. 2014; 68 (3): 264-272


    Among HIV-exposed infants in resource-limited countries, 8-12% are infected postnatally by breastfeeding. However, most of those uninfected at birth remain uninfected over time despite daily exposure to HIV in breast milk. Thus, we assessed the HIV-inhibitory activity of breast milk.We measured cross-clade neutralization in activated PBMC of Ugandan subtype A (92UG031) and D (92UG005) primary HIV by breast milk or purified milk IgG and IgA from 25 HIV-infected Ugandan women. Isotype-specific antigen recognition was resolved by immunoblot. We determined HIV subtype from envelope population sequences in cells from 13 milk samples by PCR.Milk inhibited p24 production by ?50% (dose-dependent) by subtype A (21/25; 84%) and subtype D (11/25; 44%). IgG consistently reacted with multiple HIV antigens, including gp120/gp41, but IgA primarily recognized p24 alone. Depletion of IgG (n=5), not IgA, diminished neutralization (mean 7833%) that was largely restored by IgG repletion. Mothers infected with subtype A more effectively neutralized subtype A than D.Breast milk from HIV-infected women showed homotypic and cross-subtype neutralization of HIV by IgG-dependent and -independent mechanisms. These data direct further investigations into mechanisms of resistance against postnatal transmission of HIV to infants from their mothers.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jinf.2013.11.002

    View details for Web of Science ID 000331712100008

    View details for PubMedID 24239588

  • The world within: living with our microbial guests and guides TRANSLATIONAL RESEARCH Janoff, E. N., Gustafson, C., Frank, D. N. 2012; 160 (4): 239-245

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.trsl.2012.05.005

    View details for Web of Science ID 000309299100001

    View details for PubMedID 22732305

  • Thromboxane Receptor Signaling Is Required for Fibronectin-induced Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 Production by Human and Murine Macrophages and Is Attenuated by the Arhgef1 Molecule JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY Hartney, J. M., Gustafson, C. E., Bowler, R. P., Pelanda, R., Torres, R. M. 2011; 286 (52): 44521-44531


    During an inflammatory response, resident and newly recruited tissue macrophages adhere to extracellular matrix and cell-bound integrin ligands. This interaction induces the expression of pro-inflammatory mediators that include matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). Arhgef1 is an intracellular signaling molecule expressed by myeloid cells that normally attenuates murine macrophage MMP production in vivo and in vitro after cell culture on the extracellular matrix protein, fibronectin. In this study, we have extended the characterization of this fibronectin-induced Arhgef1-regulated signaling pathway in both human and murine myeloid cells. Our results show that MMP9 production by fibronectin-stimulated monocytes and macrophages depends on autocrine thromboxane receptor signaling and that under normal conditions, this signaling pathway is attenuated by Arhgef1. Finally, we show that the expression of ARHGEF1 by human peripheral blood monocytes varies between individuals and inversely correlates with fibronectin-mediated MMP9 production.

    View details for DOI 10.1074/jbc.M111.282772

    View details for Web of Science ID 000298645500024

    View details for PubMedID 22086927

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3247948

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