Immunology

The UCSF Immunology Graduate Program is a component of both the Biomedical Sciences (BMS) program and the Program in Biological Sciences (PIBS). Students interested in the program are admitted into the BMS program and elect to follow the Immunology Track at the end of their 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, yearly advanced topics minicourses, and a weekly seminar series that hosts 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 applies single-cell analysis approaches on in vitro and clinical specimens to study the interplay between immune cells and viral pathogens including HIV, and to study the properties of immune cells in mucosal tissues in health and disease.

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

Minnie Sarwal, MD, PhD

Primary Thematic Area: 
Immunology
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Tissue / Organ Biology & Endocrinology
Research Summary: 
Organ transplant biology and immunology advances by the use of high throughput technologies using single-cell and single-nuclear RNASeq, T cell and B cell receptor sequencing, single-cell and phsopho-protoemics, CyTOF and spatial imaging.

Tiffany Scharschmidt, MD

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

Hilde Schjerven, PhD

Primary Thematic Area: 
Immunology
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Cancer Biology & Cell Signaling
Research Summary: 
Normal and malignant blood cell development, including break of immune tolerance (autoimmunity) and blood cell cancer (leukemia), with a focus on transcriptional regulation.

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