Immunology

The UCSF Immunology Graduate Program is a component of both the Biomedical Sciences (BMS) program and the Program in Biological Sciences (PIBS). Currently, students interested in the program are admitted into the BMS program and elect to follow the Immunology Track at the end of the first year. First year BMS students pursue coursework with an emphasis on mammalian cells and tissues, including the immune system. Modern approaches for understanding the molecular mechanisms of cell, organ, and immune system function are studied as are integrative approaches toward defining the physiological in vivo importance of these mechanisms. We believe that this coursework will provide an excellent knowledge base for graduate students with a strong interest in immunology and related fields such as infectious disease. In addition, first year students do three research "rotations" in different BMS/Immunology laboratories to learn experimental approaches hands-on and to aid them in choosing a thesis laboratory and project. For students who elect the Immunology Track, the Immunology Graduate Program provides continuing advanced training in current developments of immunology and in other aspects of modern molecular and cellular biology via a weekly immunology student/faculty journal club, an annual immunology retreat, a yearly advanced topics seminar course, and a weekly seminar series by outstanding immunologists from around the U.S. and occasionally overseas. In addition to the above courses and activities, our connection with PIBS provides our students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty with close interactions with scientists studying cell biology, genetics, biochemistry and molecular biology, developmental biology, biophysics, and neuroscience. As these fields are highly relevant to modern study of immunology, these connections enhance the education of students in the Immunology Program.

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Participating Faculty

Matija Peterlin, MD

Primary Thematic Area: 
Immunology
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Virology & Microbial Pathogenesis
Research Summary: 
Transcriptional regulation of HIV, immune response genes and AIRE. HIV latency and reactivation. CTD kinases that regulate transcription elongation and co-transcriptional processing as well as growth, proliferation and differentiation of cells.

Jennifer Puck, MD

Primary Thematic Area: 
Immunology
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Human Genetics
Research Summary: 
Inherited disorders of lymphocyte development

Robert Raffai, PhD

Primary Thematic Area: 
Vascular & Cardiac Biology
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Immunology
Research Summary: 
Our program explores the impact of metabolic stress on deregulated micro-RNA controlled hematopoiesis and immune cell function in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, including through intercellular signaling via exosomes

Nadia Roan, PhD

Primary Thematic Area: 
Virology & Microbial Pathogenesis
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Immunology
Research Summary: 
The Roan Lab is interested in studying how cells and secretions of the mucosa, particularly the genital mucosa, can affect immunity, infection by HIV, and reproductive health.

Oren Rosenberg, MD, PhD

Primary Thematic Area: 
Virology & Microbial Pathogenesis
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Immunology
Research Summary: 
Laboratory of Molecular Pathogenesis

Michael Rosenblum, MD, PhD

Primary Thematic Area: 
Immunology
Secondary Thematic Area: 
None
Research Summary: 
Defining the cellular and molecular mechanisms of immune regulation in peripheral tissues

Philip Rosenthal, MD

Primary Thematic Area: 
Virology & Microbial Pathogenesis
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Immunology
Research Summary: 
We study malaria, including: a) translational studies of drug efficacy and resistance; b) drug discovery and mechanisms of action of novel compounds; and c) basic biology of malaria parasites.

Kole Roybal, PhD

Primary Thematic Area: 
Immunology
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Cancer Biology & Cell Signaling
Research Summary: 
Control and Customization of Immune Cell Responses: Engineering new synthetic receptors, signal transduction cascades, and immune cell behaviors for cell therapies for cancer and autoimmunity

James Rubenstein, MD, PhD

Primary Thematic Area: 
Cancer Biology & Cell Signaling
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Immunology

Shomyseh Sanjabi, PhD

Primary Thematic Area: 
Immunology
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Virology & Microbial Pathogenesis
Research Summary: 
Mucosal Antiviral Immunity

Tiffany Scharschmidt, MD

Primary Thematic Area: 
Immunology
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Virology & Microbial Pathogenesis
Research Summary: 
Immune mechanisms that support host-commensal symbiosis

Sonja Schrepfer, MD, PhD

Primary Thematic Area: 
Vascular & Cardiac Biology
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Immunology
Research Summary: 
We are molecularly modifying pluripotent stem cell lines to create non-immunogenic cells that are protected from post-transplant rejection without affecting the general immune system.

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