A photo of Jonathan Katz.

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics



My Biography & Research


Jonathan D. Katz, PhD, focuses on autoimmune diabetes research. Autoimmune diabetes, also known as type 1 diabetes (T1D), is the most common pediatric autoimmune disease. Roughly 1/250 individuals develop T1D in the United States.There is currently no cure for T1D and the only treatment is daily exogenous insulin replacement therapy. Many T1D patients eventually develop secondary complications, such as hearth disease, blindness, peripheral neuropathy and renal failure.

Dr. Katz's work focuses on the role that autoreactive T lymphocytes play in the disease process. His lab is interested in (1) the control of autoreactive T cells via central and peripheral tolerance, (2) the role NKT cells play in regulating autoreactive T cells, and (3) the role dendritic cells play in activating and regulating autoreactive T cells in T1D.

Most of his work uses the non-obese diabetic (NOD) mouse strain that spontaneously develops T1D with remarkable similarity to the T1D seen in human patients. The availability of the NOD strain has allowed the lab to take a modern, reductionist molecular and cellular immunology approach to understanding the mechanism(s) and genetics underlying T1D susceptibility and disease progression. Dr. Katz's lab makes extensive use of knockout, transgenic, regulated gene expression, targeted ablation, cell transfer and genomic studies the progression and regulation of T1D in the NOD mouse.

Clinical Interests

T cells; MHC, beta cell death; islet antigens

Research Interests

Immunology; autoimmunity; type 1 diabetes

Academic Affiliation

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics


Molecular Immunology, Diabetes Center, Endocrinology, Immunobiology

My Education

BS: University of California, Los Angeles, CA, 1984.

PhD: University of California, Los Angeles, CA, 1990.

Post-Doctoral Fellow: Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France, 1990-1995.

My Publications

Katz JD, Ondr JK, Opoka RJ, Garcia Z, Janssen EM. Cutting edge: merocytic dendritic cells break T cell tolerance to beta cell antigens in nonobese diabetic mouse diabetes. J Immunol. 2010 Aug 15;185(4):1999-2003.

Pang S, Zhang L, Wang H, Yi Z, Li L, Gao L, Zhao J, Tisch R, Katz JD, Wang B. CD8(+) T cells specific for beta cells encounter their cognate antigens in the islets of NOD mice. Eur J Immunol. 2009 Oct;39(10):2716-24.

Saxena V, Ondr JK, Magnusen AF, Munn DH, Katz JD. The countervailing actions of myeloid and plasmacytoid dendritic cells control autoimmune diabetes in the nonobese diabetic mouse. J Immunol. 2007 Oct 15;179(8):5041-53.

Wojciechowski S, Tripathi P, Bourdeau T, Acero L, Grimes HL, Katz JD, Finkelman FD, Hildeman DA. Bim/Bcl-2 balance is critical for maintaining naive and memory T cell homeostasis. J Exp Med. 2007 Jul 9;204(7):1665-75.

Cain JA, Smith JA, Ondr JK, Wang B, Katz JD. NKT cells and IFN-gamma establish the regulatory environment for the control of diabetogenic T cells in the nonobese diabetic mouse. J Immunol. 2006 Feb 1;176(3):1645-54.

Vukkadapu SS, Belli JM, Ishii K, Jegga AG, Hutton JJ, Aronow BJ, Katz JD. Dynamic interaction between T cell-mediated beta-cell damage and beta-cell repair in the run up to autoimmune diabetes of the NOD mouse. Physiol Genomics. 2005 Apr 14;21(2):201-11.

Hutton JJ, Jegga AG, Kong S, Gupta A, Ebert C, Williams S, Katz JD, Aronow BJ. Microarray and comparative genomics-based identification of genes and gene regulatory regions of the mouse immune system. BMC Genomics. 2004 Oct 25;5(1):82.