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.


Headshot of David Allman

David Allman, PhD
Chair, Immunology Graduate Group
Professor, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
230 John Morgan Building
3620 Hamilton Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 746 5547
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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IGG Faculty Recognized for Excellence

The 2014 Penn Medicine Awards of Excellence recognized two IGG faculty for their work. Gerd Blobel, MD, PhD recieved the Stanley N. Cohen Biomedical Research Award and James Riley, PhD received the The Lady Barbara Colyton Prize for Autoimmune Research...More

BBC Horizons Speaks to Henry Daniell About His Work on Plant Vaccines

Henry Daniell, PhD speaks with BBC Horizons, a documentary series that covers science, medicine, and new technologies...More

David Weiner and Collaborators Awarded $12 Million For Development of Synthetic DNA Vaccines

David Weiner, PhD and other collaborators have been awarded $12.2 million from the Defence Advanced Resarch Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop DNA-based monoclonal antibodies for infectious disease treatment. The technology was initially developed in Dr. Weiner's lab. Dr. Weiner is an IGG faculty member and Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine...More

John O'Shea elected to Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences

NIH immunologiest and IGG faculty member John O'Shea, MD has been elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences. The IOM is an independent, nonprofit organization that advises leaders in government and the private sector in the service of improving health and medicine. Elected members are individuals who have made significant contributations to the advancement of health care, the medical sciences, and public health...More

CAR T-Cell Therapy Success Featured in New York Times and

The success of CAR T-cell therapy gains popular attention due to prolonged remissions. In mid-October, both the New York Times and local news source again featured the experimental therapy developed by IGG faculty Carl June, Stephan Grupp and others. This work is also featured in the October 16th issue of the New England Journal of Medicine...More

Frederic Bushman and Co-authors Develop New Gene Therapy for "Bubble Boy" Disease

Dr. Frederic Bushman and colleagues have developed a new gene therapy targeting what has been popularly known as the "bubble boy" disease--X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome (SCID-X1). In the October 9th issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, the authors present data from their clinical trial...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.