• Meet the Faculty

  • Theresa Alenghat, VMD, PhD

    Theresa Alenghat, VMD, PhD

    investigates central epigenomic pathways that regulate epithelial and immune cell homeostasis in the context of intestinal health and disease. The goal of her research is to provide insight into mechanisms underlying the host-commensal relationship and how this level of regulation affects the development of chronic diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease.


    A photo of Julio Aliberti.

    Julio Aliberti, MS, PhD

    is focused on defining the mechanisms underlying the induction and regulation of immune responses to intracellular pathogens, including Toxoplasma gondii and Mycobacterium tuberculosis, microbes that cause an immense burden of morbidity and mortality in the world at large. The ultimate goal of this research program is the development of novel preventive and therapeutic approaches to these pathogens.
    Visit the Aliberti Lab


    A photo of Dr. Artem Barski.

    Artem Barski, PhD

    uses cutting-edge genomic technologies (such as ChIP-Seq and RNA-Seq) to understand contribution of epigenetic mechanisms and polymerase stalling to T cell activation, differentiation and to formation of T cell memory.
    Visit the Barski Lab


    A photo of Jorge Bezerra.

    Jorge A. Bezerra, MD Medical Director, Pediatric Liver Care Center

    investigates the genetic, cellular and molecular basis of biliary atresia and other cholangiopathies in children. His studies use animal models of disease to identify causes of tissue injury and to develop new therapies to stop progression of liver disease.
    Visit the Bezerra Lab.


    A photo of Jose Cancelas Perez.

    Jose A. Cancelas Perez, MD, PhD Division Director of Research, Hoxworth Blood Center

    focuses on the study of blood-forming cells during the process of adult hematopoiesis. In particular, hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) attract clinical interest because of their potential use in stem cell and gene therapy, and because of their involvement in leukemia.
    Visit the Cancelas Lab.


    A photo of Claire Chougnet.

    Claire A. Chougnet, PhD

    aims to understand T cell function and dysfunction at a molecular level in human disease, with a focus on defining the molecular mechanisms that underlie T cell dysfunction in HIV/AIDS, defining the molecular mechanisms responsible for immune dysfunction in aging, and understanding the development of T cell responses in very early life.
    Visit the Chougnet Lab


    A photo of Jay Degen.

    Jay L. Degen, PhD

    studies the mechanisms by which circulating and cell-associated hemostatic factors contribute to development, tissue reorganization, inflammatory processes and disease. He also focuses on defining the regulatory pathways by which thrombin and thrombin targets contribute to cancer biology, inflammatory joint disease, neuroinflammatory disease, bacterial virulence/host defense, and immunological disorders.  


    A photo of Senad Divanovic.

    Senad Divanovic, PhD

    investigates the molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of innate immune signaling and inflammation in: (a) development and progression of obesity; (b) development and progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; and (b) induction of preterm birth. These studies, range from reductive analysis of TLR ligand signaling and challenge to the role of IL-17 axis to diverse experimental models of obesity and infection.


    A photo of Marie-Dominique Filippi.

    Marie-Dominique Filippi, PhD

    is interested in dissecting the molecular mechanism of hematopoietic cell migration. Because hematopoietic cells are utilized for the therapy of multiple blood diseases and neutrophils are responsible for maintaining an immunocompetence status, understanding the molecular mechanism of normal hematopoietic cell functions is of potential therapeutic importance.
    Visit the Filippi Lab.


    Fred D. Finkelman, MD

    Fred D. Finkelman, MD

    uses mouse models to study the roles of antibodies and cytokines in health and disease. Particular interests include allergic disorders, parasitic worm infections, and antibody-mediated disorders.


    A photo of Matthew J. Flick.

    Matthew J. Flick, PhD

    is working to understand how hemostatic factors in the blood that are responsible for clotting also drive inflammation in the context of infection and diseases such as arthritis and fatty liver disease.


    A photo of Lee Grimes.

    H. Leighton (Lee) Grimes, PhD Director, Cancer Pathology Program, Division of Experimental Hematology & Division of Pathology

    focuses his research on the genetic development of cancerous cells and inherited blood diseases. His lab utilizes the Growth factor independent-1 transcription factor as a molecular probe to dissect hematopoiesis and leukemia. Dr. Grimes serves as the director of the Cancer Pathology Program of the Divisions of Experimental Hematology and Pathology.
    Visit the Grimes Lab


    A photo of John Harley.

    John B. Harley, MD, PhD Director, CAGE

    is a rheumatologist and biochemist with special clinical and research interests in the genetic etiology of inflammatory diseases. His experimental focus is the many genetic effects and environmental causes of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and related inflammatory diseases. Through this work, nearly 50 genes are known and Epstein Barr virus has been identified to trigger the systemic autoimmunity of lupus. Dr. Harley also builds infrastructure with which to do high throughput genotyping, expression analysis, and epigenetics, which he makes available to his colleagues from around the world. In recent experiments, Dr. Harley organized the logistics of managing >18,000 subjects at >30,000 genetic markers, 3200 subjects at 1.2 million markers, and 10,000 subjects at 196,000 markers. Dr. Harley is committed to all of the steps between association detection through replication and toward identifying the possible functional genetic variants and to pursuing their biology.


    A photo of Andrew Herr.

    Andrew B. Herr, PhD

    studies protein-protein interactions involved in immune receptor signaling and bacterial pathogenesis. His lab uses X-ray crystallography to solve the atomic structures of proteins along with techniques of biophysical chemistry to understand their interactions in solution. The goal is to understand the molecular basis for autoimmune responses and recurrent bacterial infections, and to develop new therapeutic applications.
    Visit the Herr Lab.


    A photo of Gurjit Khurana Hershey.

    Gurjit Khurana Hershey, MD, PhD Director, Division of Asthma Research

    is the principal investigator of a federally funded Asthma and Allergic Diseases Cooperative Research Center which supports, in part, the asthma and allergy-based Greater Cincinnati Pediatric Clinic Repository. She also focuses on elucidating the genetic and environmental factors that contribute to the development of asthma and eczema. 

    Visit the Khurana Hershey Lab.


    A photo of David Hildeman.

    David A. Hildeman, PhD Director, Immunology Graduate Program

    explores the molecular factors that control the decision between tolerance and immunity within T lymphocytes. Using genetic mouse models, viruses, and MHC tetrameric reagents, the lab is focused on the molecular regulation of antigen-specific T cell responses. Dr. Hildeman is also the current director of the Immunology Graduate Program.
    Visit the Hildeman Lab.


    A photo of Kasper Hoebe.

    Kasper Hoebe, PhD

    focuses on mechanistic analysis of pathways of innate immune activation and the mechanisms underlying NK cell and CD8+ T cell development and cytolytic effector function, using forward genetic approaches. His discovery of an “endogenous adjuvant” pathway mediated by NK cell killing has led to research aimed at exploiting the knowledge obtained on NK cell-driven adaptive immune responses for the generation of new, safer vaccine approaches.
    Visit the Hoebe Lab.


    A photo of Simon P. Hogan.

    Simon P. Hogan, PhD Director of Research, Division of Allergy and Immunology

    is studying allergies, food allergies, eosinophil biology & gastrointestinal inflammation.
    Visit the Hogan Lab.


    A photo of Margaret Hostetter.

    Margaret K. Hostetter, MD BK Rachford Professor and Chair, Department of Pediatrics

    studies the pathogenesis of bloodstream infections caused by the yeast Candida albicans. Her work has highlighted the role of C. albicans in biofilms, activation of human T cells, and evasion of innate immune mechanisms. Her clinical research is focused on the medical evaluation of internationally adopted children.


    Vivian Hwa, PhD

    Vivian Hwa, PhD Basic Research Director, Cincinnati Center for Growth Disorders

    investigates the functional and cellular impacts of genetic defects identified in children with severe growth failure, who often present with a variety of co-morbidities, including immune deficiencies, insulin insensitivities, intellectual impairment, microcephaly.  These pathophysiological mutations provide unique opportunities to delineate molecular mechanism(s) of actions and improve understanding of clinical phenotypes.
    Visit the Dauber - Hwa Lab


    A photo of Edith Janssen.

    Edith Janssen, PhD

    focuses on mechanistic analysis and translational exploitation of the processes in dendritic cells that balance pro- and anti-inflammatory immune responses to self after cell death. Dr. Janssen aims at harnessing dendritic cells to develop effective autologous cancer vaccines. Her recent discovery (with Dr. Jonathan Katz) that dysregulation of such cells suggests a potential role for therapeutic modulation of these cells in autoimmune disease.


    A photo of Michael Jordan.

    Michael B. Jordan, MD

    specializes in caring for children with histiocytic disorders, primary immune deficiencies, or who are undergoing bone marrow transplantation. His laboratory focuses on understanding effector T cell function, immune regulation, and the pathogenesis of hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis. He is also conducting preclinical scientific studies in addition to a translational clinical trial.


    A photo of Theodosia A. Kalfa.

    Theodosia A. Kalfa, MD, PhD

    focuses on the study of intracellular signals in erythropoiesis and mature red blood cells, specifically the signals conducted by Rho GTPases regulating terminal erythroid maturation and enucleation. Her lab also studies the role of Rac GTPases in generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) within red blood cells from patients and animal models with sickle-cell disease along with the signaling mechanisms and consequences of increased ROS in sickle cells.
    Visit the Kalfa Lab.


    A photo of Jonathan Katz.

    Jonathan D. Katz, PhD

    is working to understand the role that autoreactive T lymphocytes play in the Immunopathogenesis of type 1 diabetes, the most common pediatric autoimmune disease. Major focuses include defining: (a) the control of autoreactive T cells via central and peripheral tolerance; (b) the role NKT cells play in regulating autoreactive T cells; and (c) the role dendritic cells play in activating and regulating autoreactive T cells in type 1 diabetes.



    Raphael Kopan, PhD Director, Division of Developmental Biology

    and his lab have the long-term goal of organogenesis in vitro. They focus their efforts on Notch signaling as their lead into mechanistic understanding of tissue diversity using genetic engineering, embryology and single cell profiling. They interrogate the mouse embryo to address critical questions regarding the circuit logic of Notch signaling in mammalian organogenesis and its integration in larger signaling context.

    Visit the Kopan Lab.


    A photo of Ashish Kumar.

    Ashish R. Kumar, MD, PhD

    is a pediatric hematologist-oncologist who has a research program investigating the biology of leukemia caused by MLL-fusion genes. These leukemias are most common in infants and frequently fatal. The research in Dr. Kumar's lab is focused at identifying downstream targets of MLL-fusion proteins that could be exploited to develop novel therapies. Currently, the Kumar lab is investigating the role of MEIS1 in MLL-leukemia.
    Visit the Kumar Lab.


    A photo of Ian Lewkowich.

    Ian P. Lewkowich, PhD

    investigates the factors that drive the development of severe allergic asthma, with a particular focus on the molecular mechanisms through which Th17 cytokines enhance IL-13 signaling, the regulation of the asthmatic response through the PD-1/PD-L axis and the mechanisms of the well-described maternal influence in inherited asthma risk.