Autoimmune diseases

[title]
  • Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Rheumatic and Autoimmune Diseases
  • Department of Medicine, Medical School

Brian Fife, PhD, is an assistant professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatic and Autoimmune Diseases. His research is focused on understanding the fundamental mechanisms that regulate T lymphocytes during autoimmune disease. Recently, Dr. Fife and his colleagues have generated a powerful treatment protocol to selectively target autoreactive cells. Using this type of approach allows them to re-educate the immune system to selectively silence destructive immune responses. Thus in effect, restore a state of self-tolerance and prevent further tissue destruction. Fife is a member of the Masonic Cancer Center’s Immunology Research Program. 

[title]
  • Director of Center for Immunology, MiCaB
  • Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, MiCaB

Marc Jenkins, PhD, is the director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Immunology and a faculty member in the Microbiology Immunology and Cancer Biology Graduate Program (MICaB). A member of the Masonic Cancer Center’s Immunology Research Program. Dr. Jenkins investigates immune responses by antigen-specific CD4+ T and B cell activation to improve vaccines and prevent autoimmunity. He is a Distinguished McKnight University Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, an NIH NIAID MERIT Awardee, an Institute for Scientific Information Highly Cited Researcher, a Member of the Academy for Excellence in Health Research, and a Pew Scholar. 

[title]
  • Professor of Medicine, Medical School
  • Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Department of Medicine

Alexander Khoruts, MD, a professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, examines the involvement of T cells in the maintenance of immunologic tolerance.  Induction of regulatory T cells (Tregs) may be important in treating autoimmune diseases and encourage tolerance to transplanted organs.  The two major questions pursued in the laboratory include mechanisms of T cell induction and the role of Tregs in maintaining diversity of the conventional T cell population. Khoruts also investigates the role of intestinal microbiota in gastrointestinal disease.  A major effort is currently being developed to identify the intestinal microorganisms that may be protective against Clostridium difficile associated disease.  Specifically, research is being conducted to characterize the microbial composition of the colon before and after bacteriotherapy by way of fecal transfer in patients suffering from recurrent or refractory Clostridium difficile infection.  

[title]
  • Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease and International Medicine
  • Department of Medicine, Medical School
  • Director, Program in HIV Medicine
  • Director, Clinical and Translational Research Services

Timothy Schacker, MD, has developed an internationally recognized program in translational research focused on how HIV causes immune suppression. His team made the discovery of a process of inflammatory damage in lymphatic tissues. They are currently testing novel therapies to prevent and/or reverse this process as well as slow T cell depletion. Additionally, Dr. Schacker is the principal investigator of a federally funded project designed to determine barriers to HIV eradication. His research efforts have stretched to Uganda where he has collaborated with the Joint Clinical Research Center in Kampala to study how exposure to common infections affect rates of HIV transmission and progression.