James L. Riley, Ph.D.

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Research Associate Professor of Microbiology
Department: Microbiology
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
8-115 SCTR
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6160
Office: (215) 573-6792
Fax: (215) 573-8590
BS (Molecular Biology)
Vanderbilt University (Charles K Singleton, mentor), 1989.
Ph.D. (Genetics and Molecular Biology)
Emory University (Jeremy M. Boss, mentor), 1994.
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Description of Research Expertise

Research Interests
CD28 family of receptors, adoptive T cell therapy, HIV gene therapy, human T regulatory therapy.

Key words: T cell activation, Tumor Specific T cells, HIV specific T cells, expression profiles.

Research Summary
Dr. Riley’s lab studies the signaling pathways that control primary human T cell activation and function with special attention to how these manipulations can be exploited to develop T cell therapies for HIV, autoimmune disease and cancer. We are studying how to best re-direct and expand human T regulatory cells for use in the treatment of autoimmune disease. We are evaluating both the use of TCR and CARs to redirect Tregs and studying both how these methods provide antigen suppression and if these approaches alter T regulatory cell stability. Part of this research is studies to understand how altering the media by which T cells are expanded in alters their function and engraftment potential in vivo. These studies have spurred interested on how various metabolic pathways are perturb by external signaling and environment. The lab is also focused on designing HIV resistant, HIV specific T cells to be key players in the HIV Cure effort. We are evaluating ways to make T cells resistant to HIV entry and integration and developing HIV-1 specific chimeric antigen receptors to evaluate the ability of these T cells to control HIV replication in both in vitro and humanized mouse studies. We are also studying the ability of these engineered T cells to recognize and destroy the latent HIV reservoir. The lab also has had a long standing interest in understanding how members of the CD28 family (CD28, ICOS, CTLA-4, PD-1 and BTLA) control T cell activation and differentiation. Most recently, the Riley Lab has focused on understanding the pathways by which PD-1 ligation modulates T cell activation and developing physiologic models to delineate these pathways in primary human T cells. Dr. Riley’s basic research findings using primary human T cells have been used as the basis and rationale for numerous Phase I adoptive T cell therapy clinical trials.

Rotation Projects
Please contact Dr. Riley concerning current rotation projects.

Lab personnel:
Jan Pawlicki Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow
Gavin Ellis Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow
Max Richardson, Ph.D Manager of Research Projects
Rachel Liebman, Grad Student
Chris Ecker, Grad Student
Wieger Norde, Postdoctoral Fellow
Emily Winters, Research Specialist
David Cookmeyer, Research Specialist
Kevin Tosh, Postdoctoral Fellow
Hong Kong, Lab Manager
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Last updated: 11/23/2016
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