Scheherazade Sadegh-Nasseri, Ph.D.

Headshot of Scheherazade Sadegh-Nasseri
  • Professor of Pathology

Research Interests

Molecular mechanisms in antigen processing and presentation; T cell memory survival more


Dr. Scheherazade Sadegh-Nasseri is a professor of pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Her research focuses on molecular mechanisms in antigen processing and presentation, T cell memory survival, T cell activation, and T cell tolerance.

Dr. Sadegh-Nasseri and her lab made the notable discovery that binding of peptides to MHC class II induces different conformations, a finding that has formed the basis for how peptide-MHC class II complexes are recognized and edited by the MHC class II accessory molecules. They have maintained a leading role in understanding mechanisms in peptide binding and the role of MHC class II accessory molecules, HLA-DM and HLA-DO in peptide exchange and editing. The team also reported the first cell free reductionist antigen processing system that identifies immunodominant epitopes from protein antigens for recognition by helper T cells. This system has led to the discovery that antigen presentation for pathogens and autoantigens follow divergent paths, a finding that has significant impact in our understanding of antigen presentation to helper T cells.

Dr. Sadegh-Nasseri received her undergraduate degree from Pahlavi University in Iran and her M.Sc. in a joint program with Harvard University and Teheran University in Iran. She earned her Ph.D. from University of California at Los Angeles. She was a Cancer Research Institute Postdoctoral Scholar in Chemistry Department at Stanford University, and a Sr. Staff Fellow in Laboratory of Immunology of NIAID at NIH prior to her current department at the JHU. more


  • Professor of Pathology

Departments / Divisions

  • Pathology - Immunopathology

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Sadegh-Nasseri is interested in two general areas of T cell recognition. She investigates the biophysical and biochemical processes that control formation of complexes of antigenic fragments and the MHC Class II, and addresses cellular and molecular events related to T cell memory development and longevity.   

Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

Divergent paths for the selection of immunodominant epitopes from distinct antigenic sources. Kim A, Hartman IZ, Poore B, Boronina T, Cole RN, Song N, Ciudad MT, Caspi RR, Jaraquemada D, Sadegh-Nasseri S. Nat Commun. 2014 Nov 21;5:5369. doi: 10.1038/ncomms6369. PMID: 25413013

HLA-DO as the optimizer of epitope selection for MHC class II antigen presentation. Poluektov YO, Kim A, Hartman IZ, Sadegh-Nasseri S. PLoS One. 2013 Aug 8;8(8):e71228. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0071228. eCollection 2013. PMID: 23951115

Resolution of infection promotes a state of dormancy and long survival of CD4 memory T cells. Dalai SK, Khoruzhenko S, Drake CG, Jie CC, Sadegh-Nasseri S. Immunol Cell Biol. 2011 Nov;89(8):870-81. doi: 10.1038/icb.2011.2. Epub 2011 Mar 1. PMID: 21358746

A reductionist cell-free major histocompatibility complex class II antigen processing system identifies immunodominant epitopes. Hartman IZ, Kim A, Cotter RJ, Walter K, Dalai SK, Boronina T, Griffith W, Lanar DE, Schwenk R, Krzych U, Cole RN, Sadegh-Nasseri S. Nat Med. 2010 Nov;16(11):1333-40. doi: 10.1038/nm.2248. Epub 2010 Oct 31. PMID: 21037588

Kim AeRyon, Tatiana Boronina, Robert N. Cole, Sadegh-Nasseri S. Linker sequences added to recombinant antigens can skew immunodominant epitope selection during antigen processing. Sci Rep. 2017 Apr 19;7:46418. doi: 10.1038/srep46418. PMID: 28422163 


”Method for Identifying and Validating Dominant T Helper Cell Epitopes Using an HLA-DM-Assisted Class II Binding Assay”. Inventor: Sadegh-Nasseri Scheherazade (US)
Patent # US Patent 8,916,340 | 

Academic Affiliations & Courses

Graduate Program Affiliation

Graduate Program in Immunology

Graduate Program in Biophysics

Graduate Program in Pathobiology

Courses and Syllabi

  • Graduate Immunology (ME:250-703)
    Immunology Program
    2018 - 2018
  • Immunology Core Course (ME.250.709)
    Graduate Program in Immunology
  • Introduction to Immunology Research (ME.250.804)
    Graduate Program in Immunology
  • Graduate Immunology: the Immune Response (260.717.01)
    Blumberg School of Public Health
    2018 - 2018

Activities & Honors


  • American Association of Immunologists, AAI

Professional Activities

  • Director, Immunology Forum Seminar Series

Videos & Media

Recent News Articles and Media Coverage

Chaperone Protein Protection from Autoimmune Diseases in Mice Suggests Same for Humans, Johns Hopkins Medicine (April 15, 2020)

Researchers tease out glitches in immune system's self-recognition, EurekAlert! (November 21, 2014)

New antigen test speeds drug development, JH The News-Letter (November 11, 2010)

Look at immune system shows protein selectivity, Washington Examiner (December 21, 2006)

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