Ruth R Montgomery, PhD

Associate Professor of Medicine (Rheumatology); Director, Yale CyTOF Facility; Associate Dean for Scientific Affairs

Research Interests

Aging; Immune System; Immune System Diseases; Lyme Disease; Macrophages; Neutrophils; Pathology; Public Health; Rheumatology; Virus Diseases; West Nile virus

Public Health Interests

Immune functions

Research Organizations

Internal Medicine: Rheumatology: Rheumatic Diseases Research Core


School of Public Health: Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases

Faculty Research


Skin Diseases Research Center, Yale

Yale Center for Research on Aging (Y-Age)

Mobile @ Yale

Research Summary

The focus of our lab’s research is on innate immunity, specifically the interaction of macrophages, neutrophils, and dendritic cells with pathogens. We study the effect of aging and immunosuppression on immune responses and specifically on the expression and efficiency of Toll-Like receptors. In our studies from a large cohort of human subjects, we have shown that older donors express lower levels of certain TLRs and show dysregulation of immune pathways in aging.

Our studies on West Nile virus (WNV) have shown that infection attenuates the activation of macrophages and interferes with intracellular signaling pathways. We have shown dysregulation of TLR3 in macrophages from older donors infected with WNV that leads to higher expression of cytokines and which may contribute to more severe infection in the elderly. We have evaluated the contribution of macrophages and neutrophils in several murine models of WNV infection, and in a genome-wide RNAi screen to identify host factors involved in anti-viral responses.

We conducted a comprehensive examination of phagocyte killing mechanisms in Lyme disease, and we have identified components of vector saliva that inhibit PMN function through down-regulation of leukocyte integrins. In addition to our high-resolution confocal imaging studies on phagocytes, we have imaged entire Ixodes ticks (J. Exp. Med. cover image, June 2006), and intact salivary glands to demonstrate expression of a novel tick receptor for spirochete outer surface protein A, and efficient down-regulation of salivary anti-coagulants by RNAi.

I am the Director of the CyTOF facility, which houses CyTOF2 instrument from DVS Sciences. CyTOF is a mass-spec based cell analyzer which provides multi-parametric single cell data. CyTOF improves on fluorescent flow cytometry by allowing detection of a greater number of markers per sample (~30-40 instead of 4-8) without background signals, and most importantly, without overlap between signals.

Specialized Terms: Innate Immunity; Macrophage; Neutrophil; Aging; West Nile Virus; Lyme Disease

Selected Publications

Full List of PubMed Publications

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Contact Info

Ruth R Montgomery, PhD
Mailing Address
Internal MedicinePO Box 208056
333 Cedar Street

New Haven, CT 06520-8056
Research Image 1

Ixodes tick, vector of Lyme disease