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


newsletter image view IGG's latest e-newsletter

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

David Weiner-led Group Awarded $16 Million NIH Award to Develop DNA Vaccines to Fight HIV

David Weiner is the principal investigator on an NIAID grant to develop synthetic HIV antigens...More

Kristen Lynch Publishes Work on Alternative Splicing and T-cell Signaling

A new study by Kristen Lynch's lab shows that the expression of CELF2, anRNA binding protein, increased in response to T-cell stimulation...More

Metastatic Melanoma Patients Respond to New Combination of Immunotherapy Drugs

David Bajor and Robert Vonderheide presented the results of their recent study on a new combination of immunotherapy drugs at the 2015 AACR Annual Meeting...More

David Weiner and Lab Recognized for Vaccine Research

David Weiner and his research team were awarded the 2015 Vaccine Industry Excellence Award at a recent meeting of the World Vaccine Congress...More

Amanda Schmidt on Regulatory T Cells and TCR Signaling

Recent IGG graduate Amanda Schmidt published her research in a recent issue of The Journal of Immunology, "Regulatory T Cells Require TCR Signaling for Their Suppressive Function"...More

Student Martin Naradikian in Current Opinion in Immunology

Martin Naradikian recently published a review, "BAFF receptors and ligands create independent homeostatic niches for B cell subsets" in Current Opinion inImmunology...More

IGG Grad Kate Weissler Publishes Thesis Research in the Journal of Immunology

IGG graduate Kate Weissler has published her thesis research, "Distinct Modes of Antigen Presentation Promote the Formation, Differentiation, and Activity of Foxp3+ Regulatory T Cells In Vivo" in a recent issue of The Journal of Immunology...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.