In the Immunology training program (IMM), we emphasize both basic and translational research. We study the cellular and molecular mechanisms of various aspects of the immune system. We also investigate how these mechanisms are altered in different types of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, as well as in the settings of cancer and transplantation. Our strengths are most notable in in the areas of mucosal immunology, innate immunity and inflammation, food allergy, primary and secondary immune deficiency, tumor immunology, and transplant immunology.

We have a multidisciplinary approach that combines both hypothesis and data driven science with the newest technologies in flow cytometry, imaging, biochemistry, genetics and genomics. IMM is a multidisciplinary training area (MTA) in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Our investigations in immunology span the cellular and molecular pathways underlying both the mobilization and suppression of the immune response. We study the immune and inflammatory response to infection, cancer, allergens, and transplanted organs, and explore the development and organization of lymphoid and myeloid cells. We research immune tolerance and homeostasis, particularly at interfaces with the commensal microbiota. We also investigate how these pathways are altered during acute and chronic inflammatory diseases, autoimmune diseases, and different types of cancer. We then design therapeutic strategies to boost or to dampen the immune response, as needed, in the fight against major human diseases.

Our curriculum emphasizes coursework and research experience in diverse immunology topics, including antigen presentation; innate and adaptive immune responses; immune cell trafficking; signal transduction in the immune system; diseases and disorders of the immune system.

Our students are often fiercely independent and yet wonderfully collaborative, with diverse backgrounds and viewpoints that lead to a greater breadth of inquiries and discoveries in our program. 

Meet the students of our Immunology training program, many of whom have been published in leading scientific journals.

Meet Our Director

Julie Magarian Blander, PhD,
Director of Immunology, studies macrophage and dendritic cells functions of the innate immune system with the members of the Blander lab. These cells are equipped with a complex array of receptors and signaling networks that sense perturbations in their tissue microenvironment and relay this information to tissue stromal cells and to hematopoietic cells of the adaptive immune system. Using an experimental repertoire ranging from basic cell biology to state of the art in vivo immune models, we explore how these macrophages and dendritic cells respond to bacterial infection, cell death, and oncogenic transformation in order to restore tissue homeostasis. Our approach to define these processes at the molecular, cellular, and organismal level affords us a fundamental level of understanding that facilitates our design of novel strategies to manipulate the immune response for therapeutic benefit.

Meet Our Faculty

Meet the accomplished faculty members of the Immunology MTA. 

Our learning environment in Immunology is both rigorous and flexible, as well as supportive and challenging.

As an incoming student, you are assigned an advisory committee. They will guide you in choosing appropriate coursework and rotation preceptors, yet you will enjoy a good measure of personalization and flexibility.