E. John Wherry, PhD
Associate Professor of Microbiology
Chair, Immunology Graduate Group
Director, Institute for Immunology
Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania

312 Biomedical Research Bldg II/III
421 Curie Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19104

TEL 215-746-8141
LAB 215-898-2873
FAX 215-746-8294

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  Research questions

  A major goal is to understand the mechanisms of T cell exhaustion during chronic infections. Prior work studying CD8 T cell responses during chronic viral infections has demonstrated that virus-specific CD8 T cells often lose effector functions and fail to acquire key memory T cell properties such as homeostatic proliferation (i.e. become exhausted). Using a variety of approaches including multiparameter flow cytometry, systems biology and global gene expression profiling and genetically modified mice we are defining cellular and transcriptional pathways involved in T cell exhaustion and normal memory T cell differentiation.


  Some of areas of considerable current interest include inhibitory receptors (e.g. PD-1, LAG-3), transcription factors and inflammatory pathways. In addition, we are examining how co-infection with two pathogens can impact T cell memory.


  Others are investigating the mechanisms of T cell mediated protective immunity to influenza virus, enteric viral infection and age-related changes in T cell immunity in both mice and humans.

  Rotation projects

  1. Regulatory mechanisms during chronic viral infections and other settings
  2. Co-infection
  3. Transcriptional regulation of T cell differentiation
  4. Defining exhaustion-specific genes for development of novel mouse strains and molecular tools
  5. Molecular program of subpopulations of exhausted and memory T cells