June 13, 2017

*SAVE THE DATE* 16th Annual Immunology Program Retreat, June 13, 2017

9:00 am to 7:00 pm

Dear Immunology Community,

The 16th Immunology Program Retreat will be held on Tuesday, June 13 at The Graduate Hotel in Ann Arbor. The retreat will include faculty, student, postdoc talks, a poster session and meals (breakfast, Lunch, dinner). Please mark this date on your calendar(s).

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Jeff Bluestone will be our keynote speaker.

Jeff Bluestone, PhD
A. W. and Mary Margaret Clausen Distinguished Professor 
University of California, San Francisco, CA
Director, Hormone Research Institute

 "Immunobiology of Tregs in autoimmunity and cancer"

My research over the past 25 years has focused on understanding the basic processes that control T cell activation and immune tolerance in autoimmunity. Specifically, my work has centered on understanding and altering the positive signals delivered by the autoantigen-specific T cells and secondary, so-called co-stimulatory signals, or engaging the negative regulatory events that control T cell activation. We have developed soluble receptor antagonists; monoclonal antibodies and animals deficient in individual members of these pathways to define their individual roles in transplant rejection and autoimmunity including a special emphasis on a specialized subset of T cells termed “regulatory T cells” (Treg) that control fundamental aspect of immune homeostasis. The insights gained from these studies help in the development of a new generation of tolerogenic drugs that will "turn off" selected parts of the immune system, leaving the disease-fighting capabilities intact. One specific example was our role in the study of CD28 co-stimulation in the early 1990’s up through today. In collaboration with Bristol Myers Squib, we were the first to demonstrate that the soluble CD28 antagonist, CTLA4Ig, could block graft rejection and lead to tolerance. This study was instrumental in the development of the agent as a therapeutic drug in Psoriasis and now kidney transplantation. Finally, we have created comprehensive research and clinical programs aimed at producing rapid clinical advances in the use of therapies, such as CTLA-4Ig and Tregs to block and reverse immunologic diseases. These basic and translational research experiences positions us to be able to carry out the proposed studies.

 

Further retreat details will be sent to everyone next spring.