A photo of David Hildeman.

David A. Hildeman, PhD

  • Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics



My lab is interested in understanding mechanisms underlying lymphocyte development, homeostasis and function. We are studying these processes in the context of aging, infection and vaccination as well as transplant rejection.

Our long-term goal is to identify molecular mechanisms that can be exploited to boost immunity, such as vaccine responsiveness. The mechanisms could also be manipulated to decrease auto-immunity or allo-immunity like autoimmune disease, transplant rejection or allergic reactions.

One of the reasons I love doing immunology research is because I learn new things about the complexity of the immune system and how it has developed to provide protective immunity while avoiding autoimmunity. Beyond the outstanding research environment, phenomenal PhD program, and the cutting-edge core facilities, another reason for doing research at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center is the collaborative environment.

For example, our work on aging has been a close collaboration between my lab and Dr. Claire Chougnet’s lab. Furthermore, our research in transplantation started as the result of a phone call from a world-renowned transplant surgeon at the University of Cincinnati about joining forces on T-cell mediated kidney rejection.

One of the most notable findings my team and I have uncovered includes a function for the pro-apoptotic molecule Bim in driving the “crash” of T-cells after the pinnacle of an immune response. We also discovered a common gamma chain cytokine/STAT5/Bcl2 network that antagonizes Bim and is needed for developing protective T-cell memory.

I am a Fellow of the Graduate School at the University of Cincinnati, the PI of a T32 Training Grant, and served as a permanent member of the Cellular and Molecular Immunology-B National Institutes of Health (NIH) study section as well as Chair of several NIH study sections.

I have more than 20 years of experience in the immunology field and started working at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in 2002. My research has been published in many journals, including PNAS, Science Advances, Cell Death and Differentiation, and American Journal of Transplantation.


Bcl-2 Is Necessary to Counteract Bim and Promote Survival of TCRαβ+CD8αα+ Intraepithelial Lymphocyte Precursors in the Thymus. Shanmuganad, S; Hummel, SA; Varghese, V; Hildeman, DA. Journal of Immunology. 2022; 208:651-659.

Advanced Genomics-Based Approaches for Defining Allograft Rejection With Single Cell Resolution. Shi, T; Roskin, K; Baker, BM; Woodle, ES; Hildeman, D. Frontiers in Immunology. 2021; 12.

Implications of Inflammatory States on Dysfunctional Immune Responses in Aging and Obesity. Thomas, AL; Alarcon, PC; Divanovic, S; Chougnet, CA; Hildeman, DA; Moreno-Fernandez, ME. 2021; 2.

Plasma cell biology: Foundations for targeted therapeutic development in transplantation. Rossi, AP; Alloway, RR; Hildeman, D; Woodle, ES. Immunological Reviews. 2021; 303:168-186.

Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Cincinnati Ohio USA from August to December 2020. Davis, G; York, AJ; Bacon, WC; Lin, SC; McNeal, MM; Yarawsky, AE; Maciag, JJ; Miller, JL C; Locker, KC S; Bailey, M; et al. PLoS ONE. 2021; 16.

Aging mitigates the severity of obesity-associated metabolic sequelae in a gender independent manner. Moreno-Fernandez, ME; Sharma, V; Stankiewicz, TE; Oates, JR; Doll, JR; Damen, MS M A; Almanan, MA T A; Chougnet, CA; Hildeman, DA; Divanovic, S. Nutrition and Diabetes. 2021; 11.

Optimization of de novo belatacept-based immunosuppression administered to renal transplant recipients. Kirk, AD; Adams, AB; Durrbach, A; Ford, ML; Hildeman, DA; Larsen, CP; Vincenti, F; Wojciechowski, D; Woodle, ES. American Journal of Transplantation. 2021; 21:1691-1698.

PD1 blockade enhances K+ channel activity, Ca2+ signaling, and migratory ability in cytotoxic T lymphocytes of patients with head and neck cancer. Newton, HS; Gawali, VS; Chimote, AA; Lehn, MA; Palackdharry, SM; Hinrichs, BH; Jandarov, R; Hildeman, D; Janssen, EM; Wise-Draper, TM; et al. Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer. 2020; 8.

IL-10-producing Tfh cells accumulate with age and link inflammation with age-related immune suppression. Almanan, M; Raynor, J; Ogunsulire, I; Malyshkina, A; Mukherjee, S; Hummel, SA; Ingram, JT; Saini, A; Xie, MM; Alenghat, T; et al. Science advances. 2020; 6.

Plasma cell targeting to prevent antibody-mediated rejection. Woodle, ES; Tremblay, S; Rossi, A; Rojas, CC; Alloway, R; Roskin, K; Allman, D; Hildeman, D. American Journal of Transplantation. 2020; 20 Suppl 4:33-41.

From the Blog

New Concept for Boosting Flu Vaccine Power Also Might Apply to Future COVID-19 Vaccines
Infectious Diseases and Vaccines

New Concept for Boosting Flu Vaccine Power Also Might Apply to Future COVID-19 Vaccines

David A. Hildeman, PhD7/29/2020