Research in Immunobiology

Immunology is the study of the immune system that confers protection against infectious diseases. This complex system is also involved in the rejection of grafted tissues, in allergy and in autoimmunity. The Department of Immunobiology at Yale is a multi-disciplinary group of investigators committed to understanding the cellular, genetic and molecular basis of these processes. The Department is based on the understanding that the solution to complex biological problems requires the integration of individuals with a common goal but differing expertise. Research focuses on the molecular, cellular, and genetic underpinnings of immune system function and development, on host-pathogen interactions, and on a variety of autoimmune disorders. In addition to the growing need to apply basic science research towards human disease, we have developed a Human Translational Immunology (HTI) Section to improve our understanding and treatment of human immunological disorders. The general research interests of the Immunology Track break down into six major themes, spanning almost all aspects of the immune system and its role in disease prevention. 

More than thirty laboratories are actively involved in research in immunology. Many share immediately adjoining or nearby laboratory space in The Anlyan Center (TAC), and include faculty that are funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The Department of Immunobiology provides one of the largest integrated training programs in immunology in the country, led by a faculty with a reputation for excellence in research. The Department of Immunobiology maintains a wide variety of major equipment, and Dr. Richard Flavell, chair of the Department, oversees a very active transgenic mouse/ES cell/knockout facility to which members of the Department have access. In addition, the department houses the flow cytometry core which contains several state-of-the art flow cytometers and cell sorters. 

Areas of Research

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B and T Cell Effector and Memory Cell Differentiation

T and B cells activation and differentiation, and development of long-lived memory T and B cells.

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Infectious Disease and Host-Pathogen Interaction

How hosts recognize and elicit immune responses and strategies used to avoid the immune system.

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Computational Immunology

Using bioinformatics, mathematical & statistical models to study immunity & design immunotherapies.

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Consequences of an Immune Response

Immunological memory, tolerance, and apoptosis. Autoimmune diseases: HTI.

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Lymphocyte Development

Receptors and signals that control lymphocyte lineage commitment, cell maturation, cell proliferation, and cell death

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Mounting an Immune Response

Receptors & signaling molecules. Activation of the innate immune system.