Maryam Afkarian, MD, PhD

  • Professor
  • Department of Internal Medicine, Nephrology
Research Interests: mechanistic understanding of inflammation in chronic diseases; specifically understanding the innate and adaptive immune response in diabetic kidney disease (DKD), and characterizing the role of the immune response on DKD pathogenesis. First group to identify an association between urine complement components and progression of diabetic kidney disease (DKD).
451 Health Sciences Drive (GBSF), Room 5404

Tom Ambrosi, PhD

  • Assistant Professor
  • Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Research Interests: Our lab studies the interactions of skeletal and hematopoietic cellular lineages in postnatal bones of mice and humans using a stem cell-centric approach. Interrogating skeletal stem cell biology during development, aging and cancer/disease allows us to dissect the cellular niches and molecular signals maintaining hematopoietic stem cells and regulating immune cell output. Our long-term goal is to leverage our discoveries to develop strategies to prevent and target skeletal stem cell-based bone aging and hematopoietic malignancies.

Nicole Baumgarth, DVM, PhD

  • Professor
  • Center for Immunology and Infectious Diseases
Research Interests: The Baumgarth Lab investigates the signals that drive a protective B cell response to influenza infection and how these responses might be derailed during infection with Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme Disease agent. We are interested also in understanding the development, role, and function of B-1 cells in infectious immunity and how natural IgM regulates the adaptive immune response.
Center for Immunology and Infectious Diseases

Charles Bevins, MD, PhD

  • Professor and Chair of the Immunology Graduate Group
  • Department of Microbiology & Immunology
Research Interests: My group is interested in defining mechanisms that mediate homeostasis between host and microbes at mucosal surfaces. With a main focus on the gastrointestinal tract, our research seeks to provide a better understanding of numerous human diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease, infectious enteritis, necrotizing enterocolitis and others.
Room 5515, Genome and Biomedical Sciences Facility (GBSF)

Terza Brostoff, DVM, PhD, DACVM

  • Assistant Professor
  • Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology
Research Interests: Dr. Brostoff's research focuses on host-pathogen interactions and studying the immune response to viral disease and vaccination, primarily for feline coronavirus. She is interested in understanding the immune response to natural disease and finding ways to leverage this to improve the safety and efficacy of vaccines. She is additionally developing novel point of care diagnostic tests for both infectious disease and cancer.
5329 VM3A

Lark Coffey, PhD

  • Associate Professor
  • Department of Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology
Research Interest: arthropod-borne virus ecology and evolution with a goal of understanding how arboviruses persist via continuous cycling, how they invade new areas, and how they cross-species to cause human and veterinary disease.

Lillian Cruz-Orengo, PhD

  • Associate Professor
  • Department of Anatomy, Physiology & Cell Biology
Research interests: My research focuses on sexual dimorphism of the blood- brain barrier +1 BBB microvasculature as a relevant contributor to MS neuropathogenesis with the purpose of developing sex-specific therapeutic targets. Using the chemokine ligand CXCL12, a key regulator of immune trafficking into the central nervous system +1 CNS as a biomarker, we hope to understand how BBB polarity is differentially regulated in females during CNS autoimmunity.

Satya Dandekar, PhD

  • Professor and Chair
  • Department of Microbiology & Immunology
Research interests: Mucosal immunity against pathogens. Molecular Pathogenesis of Human Immunodeficiency Virus +1 HIV and Simian Immunodeficiency Virus +1 SIV Infections with Special Emphasis on Gastrointestinal Mucosal Lymphoid Tissue +1 GALT as a Major Target Organ of the Viral Infection, and as a Viral Reservoir. Repair and renewal of gut mucosal immune system during therapy.

Maneesh Dave, MD, MPH

  • Associate Professor
  • Department of Internal Medicine
Research Interests: Regenerative medicine, microbiome studies, clinical trials, and developing next-generation tools that can predict/assess response to IBD therapies.

Allison Ehrlich, PhD

  • Assistant Professor
  • Department of Environmental & Molecular Toxicology
Research interests: mechanisms by which the environment influences susceptibility to immune-mediated disease; identify the mechanisms by which AhR activation leads to divergent CD4+ T cell fates, and test the hypothesis that the interaction between diverse AhR ligands, the host immune system, and the microbiome influences susceptibility to type 1 diabetes.

Melanie Gareau, PhD

  • Associate Professor
  • Department of Anatomy, Physiology & Cell Biology
Research interests: Characterizing the microbiota-gut-brain axis in models of inflammatory bowel disease and following infection with an enteric bacterial pathogen. Determining the mechanisms involved in the development of the microbiota-gut-brain axis in early life.
2017 Vet Med 3B

Qizhi Gong, PhD

  • Professor
  • Department of Cell Biology & Human Anatomy
Research Interests: The Gong lab focuses on understanding the innate immune capacity of the olfactory neuroepithelium. The constant exposure of environmental pathogens and the direct neuronal connections with the brain make the olfactory mucosa a critical site for viral invasion into the CNS. The lab uses a wide range of techniques, from mouse genetics, tissue culture, molecular and genomic approaches, to investigate pathogen-olfactory mucosa interactions.
3418 Tupper Hall

Angela Haczku, MD, PhD

  • Professor & Associate Dean of Research
  • Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine
Research Interests: Airway inflammation caused by environmental exposures (allergen, cigarette smoke, ozone inhalation, or psychosocial stress) in asthma and COPD. Innate and adaptive immune crosstalk and mechanisms of corticosteroid resistance. Lung physiology and a wide spectrum of immunological cell and molecular biology techniques.

Dennis Hartigan O'Connor, MD, PhD

  • Associate Professor
  • Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Research interests: development of the human immune system and interaction of that system with agents of chronic infection such as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV). Most recent studies include development of Th17 cells, regulatory T cells (T-regs), and antigen-presenting cells in the mucosal immune system. Interested in the relationship between variable development of such immune cells and variable control over chronic infectious diseases, and the interactions between the normal gut microflora, pathogenic organisms, and immune cells within the intestine.

Rivkah Isseroff, MD

  • Professor
  • Department of Dermatology
Research Interests: We study wound repair, using in vitro, animal, and human ex vivo models. Current work: catecholamines, adrenergic receptor signaling and neuroimmune modulation of the wound and its microbiome, generation of an MSC-bioengineered tissue to improve healing. Bench-to-beside translation in our wound clinic.
Institute for Regenerative Cures

Hong Ji, PhD

  • Assistant Professor
  • Department of Anatomy, Physiology & Cell Biology
Research Interests: Dr. Ji’s research group is focused on elucidating the epigenetic regulation of chronic diseases such as childhood asthma and examining how epigenetic mechanisms mediate the impact of environmental exposures during critical developmental windows (e.g., infancy) on increased disease susceptibility.
California National Primate Research Center

Peng Ji, PhD

  • Assistant Professor
  • Department of Nutrition
Research interests: evaluation of early-life nutrition on development and host resilience to infectious diseases. We use animal models and a systems biology approach to determine the development outcomes of nutrient deficiency and excess and their impact on host vulnerability to infections during the critical window of development. Recent work focuses on micronutrient deficiency and excess and dietary bioactive compounds. We have developed pathogen-challenged piglet models to mimic certain enteric bacterial pathogen infections in humans with the highest prevalence in infants and young children. This model allows us to study the mechanism via which dietary micronutrients and bioactive compounds enhance host resistance to infection. The work involves enteric and systemic immunity, microbiome, and metabolism.

Jinhwan Kim, PhD

  • Assistant Professor
  • Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Surgery
Research Interests: Research Interests: Our research group is dedicated to the engineering of immune cells using biocompatible nanomaterials. One of our primary objectives is to amplify the efficacy of current cancer immunotherapies by enabling real-time, non-invasive, and continuous tracking of these engineered immune cells in vivo. Within the framework of cell-based immunotherapy, we strive to provide comprehensive insights into the location and functionality of immune cells in clinically relevant settings.
UC Davis Health Research Building II

Marcelo Kuroda, MD, PhD

  • Professor
  • Center for Immunology and Infectious Diseases
Research Interest: 1) Determining the role of monocyte/macrophages in the pathogenesis of infectious diseases, chronic inflammation and aging; 2) Examining the immunology of aging, and; 3) Assessing the roles of macrophages in the pathogenesis of TB using the macaque model of TB/SIV.
Center for Immunology and Infectious Diseases

Kit Lam, MD, PhD

  • Professor & Department Chair
  • Biochemistry & Molecular Medicine; Hematology & Oncology
Research Interests: Application of combinatorial library methods for basic research and drug discovery, nanotherapeutics, immunotherapeutics, peptide targeted-therapy for cancer, peptide immunochemistry, proteomics, chemical biology, bioconjugate chemistry, substrates and inhibitors for tyrosine kinase, tyrosine sulfotransferases and proteases, development of anti-microbial agents.

Patrick Leung, PhD

  • Adjunct Professor
  • Department of Rheumatology, Allergy & Clinical Immunology
Research Interests: Molecular basis and Immunotherapy of primary biliary cholangitis. Molecular immunology of food allergens and immunotherapy of seafood allergy.

Jamal Lewis, PhD

  • Assistant Professor
  • Department of Biomedical Engineering
Research Interests: The Immuno-modulatory Biomaterials Laboratory focuses on the development of novel biomaterial systems that can manipulate the immune system. Our primary goal is to design the next generation of immunotherapeutics.
3315 Genome and Biomedical Sciences Facility

Chengfei Liu, MD, PhD

  • Assistant Professor
  • Department of Urologic Surgery
Research interest: bridging basic and clinical research that ultimately yields novel translational efforts in urologic oncology, yielding new paradigms for protein post translational modification and drug resistance in cancer cells, advance the understanding of cancer biology and providing opportunities for innovative cancer therapeutics. Current research program focuses on understanding the mechanisms of therapy resistance and progression in lethal prostate cancer with specialized focus on drug development for the treatment of prostate cancer. Interests include nuclear receptors, chaperone protein modification, ubiquitin proteasome regulation, steroid hormone biosynthesis and metabolism, clinical translational research and tumor immunology.
4645 2nd Ave, Research III Bldg, Suite 2300C

Alan Lombard, PhD

  • Assistant Professor
  • Department of Urologic Surgery and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine
Research Interests: My research centers on the study of prostate cancer and mechanisms underlying its progression and both response and resistance to therapy. The lab's current focus is on the integration of PARP inhibitor treatment strategies into clinical care and the design of novel combination therapies which will enhance PARP inhibitor efficacy. Specific interests include studies to understand treatment induced senescence and how we may target senescent cells within the tumor microenvironment using rationally selected senolytic drugs. We are additionally interested in understanding the immune landscape of prostate tumors and how to develop novel strategies to utilize immunotherapies for aggressive disease.
Oak Park Research Bldg Rm 2102B

Emanual Maverakis, MD

  • Professor
  • Dermatology
Research Interests: Autoimmunity, basic T cell biology, and cancer immunology. Projects look at the role of glycans in these areas of interest. Other projects focus on utilizing T cell repertoire analysis as a tool to study immune responses.

Steven McElroy, MD

  • Professor and Division Chief of Neonatology
  • Department of Pediatrics
Research Interests: understanding injury and repair mechanisms in the immature intestinal tract. Our research has deep roots in epithelial biology, microbial host interactions, and host immunology (both innate and adaptive).

Lisa Miller, PhD

  • Professor
  • Department of Anatomy, Physiology & Cell Biology
Research Interests: Our research is focused on understanding the relationship between early life environmental exposures and development of pulmonary disease, such as asthma. We study how mucosal and systemic immunity is established during infancy, and determine the impact of air pollutants, allergens, and infectious disease on childhood lung health.
California National Primate Research Center

Jan Nolta, PhD

  • Professor
  • Department of Internal Medicine and Cell Bio & Anatomy
Research Interests: I direct the Cell & Gene Therapy program at UC Davis. Our team develops and manufactures Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR)- T lymphocytes for clinical use. We have a translational laboratory for the research, an immune deficient mouse vivarium to test human gene-modified cellular products for the FDA, and a Good Manufacturing Practice Facility to produce lentiviral vectors, transduce and expand the patient cells for use in clinical trials.
2921 Stockton Blvd, Suite 1300, Sacramento

Bennett Penn, MD, PhD

  • Associate Professor
  • Department of Internal Medicine, Infectious Diseases
Research Interests: Dr. Penn’s research focuses on understanding the immune response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis. We use cutting-edge techniques including quantitative mass-spectrometry and CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing to probe the interaction between M. tuberculosis and its host.

Kent Pinkerton, PhD

  • Professor & Director
  • Center for Health and the Environment
Research Interests: Immunotoxicology of the respiratory system. The effects of environmental air pollutants (gases, vapors, and particles) on lung inflammation and disease. The role of cytokines and growth factors in lung maturation and development. The impact of aerosolized nanomaterials on health and disease.

David Pleasure, MD

  • Professor & Director of Research
  • Neurology & Pediatrics
Research Interests: Multiple sclerosis, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, central nervous system innate immunity, development of the nervous system, neural stem cells.
Shriners Hospital for Children

Katherine Ralston, PhD

  • Assistant Professor
  • Department of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics
Research Interests: Interactions between the eukaryotic pathogen Entamoeba histolytica and the human host. The pathogen was named “histolytica” for its ability to destroy host tissues, which is driven by direct killing of human cells. We study how E. histolytica kills cells and invades tissue.

Robert Rebhun, DVM, PhD

  • Professor
  • Department of Surgical & Radiological Sciences
Research interests: I am a veterinary medical oncologist interested in comparative and translational oncology. Recent work has focused on canine cancer immunotherapy including defining the tumor microenvironment, generating reagents for diagnostic and clinical cancer immunotherapy studies, and testing novel immunotherapies in pet dogs with naturally occurring advanced metastatic cancer.
217 Center for Companion Animal Health

William Ridgway, MD

  • Professor and Division Director
  • Rheumatology, Allergy & Clinical Immunology
Research Interests: Genetics of autoimmunity and autoimmune phenotypes. The primary emphasis is on investigating mouse models of spontaneous polygenic autoimmune syndromes including Type one diabetes, Primary Biliary Cirrhosis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosis and Relapsing Polychondritis.

Grace Rosenquist, PhD

  • Assistant Adjunct Professor
  • Neurobiology, Physiology & Behavior
Research Interests: Post-translational modification of proteins, particularly tyrosine sulfation. Proteins of interest include glycoprotein viral coats, ionotropic and metabotropic glutamate receptors, and G-coupled protein receptors. Collaboration with laboratories which can validate predictions.
179 Briggs Hall

Jeroen Saeij, PhD

  • Associate Professor
  • Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology
Research Interests: Our focus is the identification of genes of the obligate intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii that modulate the host cell and/or determine virulence, host genes and pathways that determine resistance/susceptibility, and to characterize their specific interactions.

Hannah Savage, DVM, PhD

  • Assistant Professor
  • Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology
The Savage lab studies interactions between pathogens, the microbiota, and host. In particular, I currently focus on how the microbiota promotes a heathy colonocyte immunometabolism and how this interaction is altered during disease, putting the host at risk of infection with pathogens and pathobionts. My overall research goal is to understand the basis behind these host-microbiota interactions during health so that host health can be supported with therapeutics during microbial disruption to prevent a loss of colonization resistance.
Center for Immunology and Infectious Disease

Barbara Shacklett, PhD

  • Professor
  • Department of Microbiology & Immunology
Research Interests: My laboratory studies cell-mediated immune responses to HIV-1 and other viruses in mucosal tissues, and immune cell trafficking to the gastrointestinal and reproductive tracts and the central nervous system. Current projects focus on mucosa-associated invariant T-cells (MAIT cells), Tissue-Resident T-cells, and the functionality of cytotoxic T-cells.
3327 Tupper Hall

Scott Simon, PhD

  • Professor and Vice Chair
  • Department of Biomedical Engineering
Research Interests: Inflammation in response to acute infection (Staphaureus and MRSA) and chronic disease (Atherosclerosis). Innate immunity of host response. In particular, how neutrophils and monocytes travel from blood out into tissue where they fight infections but can also contribute to disease.
3313 Genome and Biomedical Sciences Facility

Ryan Snodgrass, PhD

  • Adjunct Assistant Professor
  • USDA Western Human Nutrition Research Center
Research Interests: Dr. Snodgrass’s research is focused on understanding how diet and nutritional and metabolic status shape innate immune function. Active research areas include: 1) investigating how metabolic status influences innate immune cell frequencies and phenotypes; 2) investigating the impact of diet and stress on cardiovascular risk factors and innate immune cell phenotypes; 3) investigating how gut microbiota-derived metabolites, which can be influenced by our diet, contribute to innate immune cell function.
USDA Western Human Nutrition Research Center

Athena Soulika, PhD

  • Associate Professor
  • UCDHS: Dermatology
Research Interests: Inflammatory neurological disorders, innate immunity responses within the CNS and how these affect the disease course. Local immune responses in the skin and their effects on injury.
Shriners Hospital for Children
2425 Stockton Blvd., Sacramento CA 95817

Ellen (Liz) Sparger, PhD

  • Associate Adjunct Professor
  • Department of Veterinary Medicine and Epidemiology
Research Interests: Retroviral pathogenesis and vaccine development; AIDS vaccine development; Tumor immunology

Charles Stephensen, PhD

  • Adjunct Professor
  • USDA Western Human Nutrition Research Center
Research Interests: My research focuses on the role of nutrition in immune function and resistance to infectious diseases and, conversely, in the impact of infection on nutritional status. Current work focuses on the role of vitamins A and D in T cell-mediated immune responses, and the relationship of gut microbiota to systemic immune activation and vaccine responses, focusing on infants. Other projects also include the impact of omega-3 fatty acids on inflammation.

Cheemeng Tan, PhD

  • Associate Professor
  • Department of Biomedical Engineering
Research Interests: It is challenging to create artificial cellular systems that match the dynamical behavior and resilience of natural cellular systems, while showing superior function in some areas. The Tan Lab uses a holistic approach, which integrates synthetic biology and systems biology, to engineer synthetic vesicles, cell-free systems, and synthetic cells. Our work will lead to effective and safe artificial cellular systems for broad biotechnological applications, including immunotherapy of cancer cells and bacterial infection.
GBSF2220 (Lab), GBSF2321 (Office), University of California Davis

Christine Toedebusch, DVM, PhD

  • Assistant Professor
  • Department of Surgical & Radiological Sciences
Research interest: Neuroimmunology and the role of microglia in canine and feline CNS health and disease, with a specific focus on the role of microglia in primary brain tumorigenesis.

Jose Torres, PhD

  • Professor
  • Department of Microbiology & Immunology
Research Interests: Our laboratory is dedicated to the study of tumors that avoid recognition and elimination by the human immune system. We combine modulation of the immune system in the tumor environment with active immunization to treat metastatic cancer. This work involves design, development and testing of peptide immunogens from tumor specific and tumor associated antigens.

Rodolfo Urbano, PhD

  • Assistant Professor
  • Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology
Research Interests: The Urbano Lab studies host-microbe interactions that involve the actin cytoskeleton. Immune signals such as IFN-g activate host cells to fight infection by stimulating expression of cellular defenses that include actin-binding proteins (ABPs). Our lab aims to characterize the functions of these ABPs in the context of the immune response to learn how actin-based immunity impacts microbial pathogenesis and pathogen clearance. One area of active research involves the role of ABPs in microbial actin-based motility and cell-to-cell dissemination (Listeria, Shigella, Burkholderia, etc.). Additionally, ABPs are important components of the host cell adhesion and motility machinery. Here we aim to understand how immune activation modifies the mechanical properties of cells to mobilize to sites of infection, capture and eliminate microbes.
Vet Med 3A, Rm.3327

Judy Van de Water, PhD

  • Professor
  • Department of Rheumatology, Allergy & Clinical Immunology
Research Interests: Immunopathology, neuroimmunology, and the cellular and molecular basis of autoimmunity. Current research addresses the biological aspects of autism spectrum disorders including immune function, cellular mechanisms of immune dysregulation, and autoimmunity.
The MIND Institute & 6510 GBSF

Natalia Vapniarsky, DVM, PhD

  • Assistant Professor
  • Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology
Research interest: tissue engineering of immuno-universal tissues and implants. I am investigating how the recipient perceives engineered tissues and how this immunity can be modulated via the implant. I am also studying immunomodulation by mesenchymal stem cells.
Vet Med 3A

Xiao-Jing Wang, MD, PhD

  • Professor
  • Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Research Interests: XJ Wang Lab studies a) Role of immune-microenvironment in cancer progression and metastasis; b) Mechanisms of immune evasion of cancer and cancer immunotherapy; c) mechanisms of inflammatory skin diseases, chronic inflammation affecting wound healing and tissue remodeling; d) therapeutic interventions in chronic wounds, radiation toxicities, inflammatory disease and fibrosis in oral cavity and skin.
Lab: Tupper Hall 1439-1441 and Research III

Sebastian Winter, PhD

  • Associate Professor
  • Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine
Research Interest: The Winter lab seeks to better understand the chemical biology of host-microbe interactions. We are particularly interested in the metabolic interactions between the host and its microbiome in settings of intestinal inflammation, and the metabolism of enteric pathogens during infection.

Huaijun Zhou, PhD

  • Professor
  • Department of Animal Science
Research in immunogenetics, molecular genetics, functional genomics, and bioinformatics in poultry. Focused on elucidating the molecular and cellular mechanisms of host-pathogen interaction including disease resistance, immune response, and pathogenesis of infection. The overall goals are to understand genetic regulation of host response and basic mechanisms of pathogen virulence in animals, to identify host and pathogen genes that are involved in the host-pathogen interplay. The pathogens of interest are food-borne bacteria such as Campylobacter and Salmonella and avian influenza virus.
2247 Meyer Hall

Angela Zivkovic, PhD

  • Associate Professor
  • Department of Nutrition
Research interests: the immunomodulatory effects of foods, food components, food-and gut microbiome-derived molecules, and high density lipoprotein (HDL) particles. We are particularly interested in the interactions between diet and the gut-brain axis, including intestinally-derived HDL particles and their cargo such as carotenoids, and their relationship with innate immune cells involved in the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative disease, particularly Alzheimer's disease.
3245 Meyer Hall