E. John Wherry, PhD

John WherryDirector, Colton Center for Autoimmunity at Penn

In addition to his role as Director of the Colton Center for Autoimmunity at Penn, Dr. E. John Wherry is the Director of the Institute for Immunology, Chair of the Department of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics, and Richard and Barbara Schiffrin President’s Distinguished Professor at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.  Dr. Wherry is also co-director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at Penn.

Dr. Wherry’s research is devoted to understanding how the immune system itself can be mobilized by strategic interventions to fight disease, including the diverse array of autoimmune diseases afflicting roughly 24 million Americans.  In his role as Director for the Institute of Immunology, Dr. Wherry leads a lab studying the fundamental biology of T cell exhaustion, an immunological change that occurs in chronic infections, cancer, and autoimmunity.  A second major focus is to use knowledge of fundamental immune biology to perform high dimensional immune profiling in human diseases including cancer, HIV infection, influenza vaccination, immune cell migration, pediatric respiratory disease, and immunotherapy-induced autoimmunity.  The lab’s goal is to use such approaches to define the baseline and disease associated features of overall Immune Health and use this information to interrogate individual responses to therapeutic interventions.  Wherry’s work has broad implications for autoimmune health and holds the promise of a future in which autoimmune diseases are defined and treated by precision medicine. 

After completing his undergraduate degree at the Pennsylvania State University, Dr. Wherry earned his PhD in Immunology from Thomas Jefferson University and completed his postdoctoral research fellowship at Emory University.