Department of Microbiology

faculty photo

James L. Riley, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Microbiology
Member, Center for Cellular Immunotherapy
Member, Institute for Immunology
Member, Diabetes Research Center
Department: Microbiology

Contact information
8-115 SCTR
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6160
Office: (215) 573-6792
Fax: (215) 573-8590
Graduate Group Affiliations
BS (Molecular Biology)
Vanderbilt University (Charles K Singleton, mentor), 1989.
Ph.D. (Genetics and Molecular Biology)
Emory University (Jeremy M. Boss, mentor), 1994.
Permanent link
> Perelman School of Medicine   > Faculty   > Details

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 signals 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. As a leader of the BEAT HIV Martin Delaney Collaboratory his lab is 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. 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:
Colby Maldini, Graduate Student
Jan Pawlicki Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow
Gavin Ellis Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow
Max Richardson, Ph.D Senior Research Investigator
Rachel Leibman, Grad Student
Chris Ecker, Grad Student
Guoping Deng, Research Associate
Chui Yu Lau, Research Specialist
Kevin Gayout, Research Specialist
Kevin Tosh, Postdoctoral Fellow
Raimon Duran-Struuck, Assistant Professor
Hong Kong, Lab Manager

Selected Publications

Varela-Rohena A, Molloy PE, Dunn SM, Li Y, Suhoski MM, Carroll RG, Milicic A, Mahon T, Sutton DH, Laugel B, Moysey R, Cameron BJ, Vuidepot A, Purbhoo MA, Cole DK, Phillips RE, June CH, Jakobsen BK, Sewell AK, Riley JL: Control of HIV-1 immune escape by CD8 T cells expressing enhanced T-cell receptor. Nature Medicine 14(12): 1390-5, Dec 2008.

Basu S, Golovina T, Mikheeva T, June CH, Riley JL: Cutting edge: Foxp3-mediated induction of pim 2 allows human T regulatory cells to preferentially expand in rapamycin. Journal of Immunology 180(9): 5794-8, May 2008.

Riley JL, June CH, Blazar BR: Human T regulatory cell therapy: take a billion or so and call me in the morning. Immunity 30(5): 656-65, May 2009.

Richardson MW, Jadlowsky J, Didigu CA, Doms RW, Riley JL: Kruppel-like factor 2 modulates CCR5 expression and susceptibility to HIV-1 infection. Journal of Immunology 189(8): 3815-21, Oct 2012.

Plesa G, Zheng L, Medvec A, Wilson CB, Robles-Oteiza C, Liddy N, Bennett AD, Gavarret J, Vuidepot A, Zhao Y, Blazar BR, Jakobsen BK, Riley JL: TCR affinity and specificity requirements for human regulatory T-cell function. Blood 119(15): 3420-30, Apr 2012.

Rech AJ, Mick R, Martin S, Recio A, Aqui NA, Powell DJ, Colligon TA, Trosko JA, Leinbach LI, Pletcher CH, Tweed CK, DeMichele A, Fox KR, Domchek SM, Riley JL, Vonderheide RH: CD25 blockade depletes and selectively reprograms regulatory T cells in concert with immunotherapy in cancer patients. Science Translational Medicine 4(134): 134ra62, May 2012.

Riley JL: Combination checkpoint blockade--taking melanoma immunotherapy to the next level. The New England Journal of Medicine 369(2): 187-9, Jul 2013.

Wei F, Zhong S, Ma Z, Kong H, Medvec A, Ahmed R, Freeman GJ, Krogsgaard M, Riley JL: Strength of PD-1 signaling differentially affects T-cell effector functions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 110(27): E2480-9, Jul 2013.

Richardson MW, Guo L, Xin F, Yang X, Riley JL: Stabilized human TRIM5α protects human T cells from HIV-1 infection. Molecular Therapy 22(6): 1084-95, Jun 2014.

Leibman RS, Riley JL: Engineering T Cells to Functionally Cure HIV-1 Infection. Molecular Therapy 23(7): 1149-59, Jul 2015.

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Last updated: 04/15/2018
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