Immunology Graduate Group


Recognizing the need to create an environment where researchers could be adequately trained in the multifaceted aspects of immunobiology, Penn became the first medical school to establish a separate degree-granting PhD program in Immunology. The faculty of the Immunology Graduate Group (IGG) are drawn from eight different units of the University of Pennsylvania, encompassing a broad spectrum of research interests: the College of Arts and Sciences; the School of Medicine; the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania; The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; the School of Dental Medicine; the School of Veterinary Medicine; The Wistar Institute; and The Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute.

The IGG has also established a partnership with the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. The partnership brings to the IGG the extraordinary resources and scientific expertise present at the NIH, one of the largest and most renowned biomedical research centers in the world. Students have the opportunity to interact with NIH faculty in a variety of ways, including conducting a lab rotation or thesis work at the NIH. This cross-departmental and institutional organization fosters a unique collaborative environment that allows students to develop research projects combining the expertise of multiple faculty members.

At present, there are approximately 80 faculty members in Penn’s Immunology Graduate Group, encompassing a broad spectrum of research studies. Faculty research includes studies on the development and regulation of the immune system, host-pathogen interactions, the fundamental molecular and cellular biology of the immune system, structural studies of immunologically relevant molecules and translational immunology. Research results are being utilized in both experimental models and clinical trials attempting to fight diseases.


Picture of David Allman

David Allman, PhD
Chair, Immunology Graduate Group
Professor, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
Perelman School of Medicine
230 John Morgan Building
3620 Hamilton Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 746 5547
email | website

Picture of Paula Oliver

Paula Oliver, PhD
Vice Chair, Immunology Graduate Group
Associate Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Perelman School of Medicine
3615 Civic Center Blvd, 816F/ARC
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(267) 426 2839
email | website

Mary Taylor
Coordinator, Immunology Graduate Group
357 Biomedical Research Building II/III
421 Curie Boulevard
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 573 4394


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Scott Hensley Talks with Channel 6 ABC News About Influenza Research

Dr. Scott Hensley is interviewed by WPVI-TV/Channel 6 ABC Action News about his recent work on the influenza virus...More

López Lab Publishes Work on Immune Response to Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Faculty member Carolina López, PhD and members of her lab recently published their work on respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in PLOS Pathogens. In this paper, Dr. López and her lab describe a subset of viral products that elicit a strong immune response against RSV in people who become infected...More

Graduate Drew Comrie Receives CHOP Research Award

Recent Graduate Drew Comrie received the 2015 CHOP Distinguished Research Trainee Awards for his outstanding work on T cell mechanics under the supervision of Janis Burkhardt, PhD...More

Raj Lab's Work Explores Cell Size and DNA Content

Bioengineering faculty Arjun Raj and his lab address the question of cell volume variability amongst cell with the same function and DNA...More

T Cell Exhaustion and the PD-1 Protein Pathway

A new paper in the Journal of Experimental Medicine from John Wherry's Lab presents data showing that PD-1 may not be the cause of T cell exhaustion...More

Scott Lab Studies Immune Response to Leishmaniasis

Phillip Scott's Lab work on leishmaniasis is highlighted in the latest Penn Current issue...More

IGG Faculty Awarded $7.5 Million for HIV Gene Therapy Research

James Riley, PhD, James Hoxie, MD, John Wherry, PhD, Frederic Bushman, PhD, and Pablo Tebas, MD have been awarded $7.5 million from the NIH to begin work on a new gene therapy addressing HIV...More

Ellen De Obaldia Receives IGG Award for Outstanding Dissertation

Maria Elena (Ellen) De Obaldia this year's winner of the IGG Saul Winegrad Award for Outstanding Dissertation. Ellen completed her dissertation, "T-Lineage Specification and Commitment Requires Constraint of Myeloid Gene Expression Programs by HES1", under the supervision of Avinash Bhandoola; currently, she is a postdoctoral fellow in the Vosshall Laboratory at The Rockefeller University. She will be recognized at the Biomedical Graduate Studies Graduation and Hooding Ceremony on May 18.

David Allman Recognized for Teaching

David Allman, PhD recieved this year's Dean's Award for Excellence in Basic Science Teaching in recognition of his outstanding medical school teaching...More

CFAR Faculty Receive Award for HIV Research

Carl June, MD, Bruce Levine, PhD, and Pablo Teblas, MD were among those who received the 2015 Clinical Research Achievement Award by the Clinical Research Form for their work on gene editing of CCR5 in HIV patients...More

Metastatic Melanoma Patients Respond to New Combination of Immunotherapy Drugs

New IGG faculty member Jorge Ivan Alvarez’s recent work with Cornelia Podjaski of McGill University appears in the latest edition of Brain...More

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Rotating cover images: (1) The parasite Leishmania major (promastigote stage; red) among alternatively activated (M2) macrophages (green) and resident peritoneal macrophages (blue). Courtesy of Tiffany Weinkopff and Phillip Scott, Department of Pathobiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Cropped from original. (2) Goenka R, Matthews AH, Zhang B, O’Neill PJ, Scholz JL, Migone T, Leonard WJ, Stohl W, Hershberg U, Cancro MP. 2014. Local BLyS production by T follicular cells mediates retention of high affinity B cells during affinity maturation. The Journal of Experimental Medicine 211(1):45-56. Cropped from original. (3) Spleen of a mouse infected the chronic strain of LCMV (clone 13). Intravascular labeling was used to differentiate CD8+ T cells in the red pulp versus the white pulp of the spleen. Photo credit: Kristen Pauken and Jason Schenkel. Cropped from original. (4) Tiled 3D reconstruction of an E10.5 dorsal aorta immunostained for CD31 (red) CKit (blue) and Runx1 (green). Amanda Phillips and Nancy Speck.