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The Immunobiology Program

One key to the success of any future cell-based therapy-successfully transplant and maintain cells in a patient-will require a better understanding of how the immune system develops and functions. Researchers in our Immunobiology program at ICE are keen to unravel the molecular mechanisms behind the human immune system as well as how stem cells differentiate into specialized immune cells. Using a combination of molecular, cellular and genomic biology techniques as well as mouse models, the Immunobiology labs strive to unravel the mysteries of how the immune system distinguishes between self and non-self and how that might be harnessed to improve transplantation therapies and treatments.

The Immunobiology Program at Johns Hopkins’ Institute for Cell Engineering

Stephen Desiderio introduces the Immunobiology Program, where scientists study how our immune system works and look for ways to bolster it.


Photo of Dr. Joel L. Pomerantz, Ph.D.

Pomerantz, Joel L., Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biological Chemistry
Associate Professor of Oncology
Photo of Dr. Jonathan Schneck, M.D., Ph.D.

Schneck, Jonathan, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Pathology
Professor of Oncology
Photo of Dr. Nilabh Shastri, M.Sc., Ph.D.

Shastri, Nilabh, M.Sc., Ph.D.

Professor of Pathology


Latest News

making activated T cells

Magnetic Nanoparticles Could Be Key To Effective Immunotherapy
Results of a study led by Johns Hopkins investigators suggests that a device composed of a magnetic column paired with custom-made magnetic nanoparticles may hold a key to bringing the body’s own immune system to better fight cancer and infection.

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Enzyme's Alter Ego Helps Activate the Immune System
Researchers showed that SPPL3 works to activate T cells, the immune system’s foot soldiers. SPPL3s structure is similar to that of presenilin enzymes, which have been implicated in Alzheimer’s disease.

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Locking Mechanism Found for 'Scissors' that Cut DNA
Researchers have found how DNA cutting is regulated when the body mixes and matches DNA to form antibodies against viruses and bacteria.

magnetic field on antigen presenting cells

Magnetic Medicine
Using tiny particles designed to target cancer-fighting immune cells, Johns Hopkins researchers have trained the immune systems of mice to fight melanoma, a deadly skin cancer.

T cell engulfs retrovirus

Key Found To Restoring 'Exhausted' HIV-Fighting Immune Cells
Researchers have identified a protein that causes loss of function in immune cells combating HIV. The scientists report that the protein, Sprouty-2, is a promising target for future HIV drug development, since disabling it could help restore the cells' ability to combat the virus.