Michael Paul Cancro, Ph.D.

faculty photo
Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Department: Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
284 John Morgan Building
3620 Hamilton Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: (215) 898-8067
Lab: (215) 898-6668
B.S. (Zoology)
University of Maryland College Park, 1973.
Ph.D. (Zoology/Genetics)
University of Maryland College Park, 1976.
Postdoc (Immunology)
University of Pennsylvania, 1977.
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Description of Research Expertise

Research Interests

B lymphocyte development, selection, and homeostasis; immunobiology of aging.

Research Summary

The Cancro laboratory studies B lymphocyte development, homeostasis and activation. Early work from our lab defined the transitional B cell subset; a developmental stage spanning immature B cell formation in the bone marrow and final maturation in the periphery. In addition, we have made key conceptual and mechanistic contributions towards understanding how the cytokine BLyS (a.k.a. BAFF) and its receptors control peripheral B cell selection and numbers. Most recently, we have focused on our recent discovery of a novel B cell subset that enlarges continuously with age, termed Age Associated B cells (ABCs). Our ongoing studies have revealed that this subset is characterized by the expression of the transcriptional regulator Tbet, and includes a spleen resident memory B cell pool that is key to anti-microbial immunity, but that is also expanded in several autoimmune diseases. Current work is thus aimed at understanding the origins of ABCs, as well as their roles in both protective immunity and autoimmune disease.

Selected Publications

Johnson JL, Rosenthal RL, Knox JJ, Myles A, Naradikian MS, Madej J, Kostiv M, Rosenfeld AM, Meng W, Christensen SR, Hensley SE, Yewdell J, Canaday DH, Zhu J, McDermott AB, Dori Y, Itkin M, Wherry EJ, Pardi N, Weissman D, Naji A, Luning Prak ET, Betts MR, Cancro MP : T-bet enables tissue-restricted B cell memory and influenza hemagglutinin stalk-specific antibodies. Immunity. Cell Press, 52: 842-855, May 2020.

Cancro, MP: Age-associated B Cells. Annual Reviews of Immunology. Annual Reviews 38: 315-340, January 2020.

Johnson JL, Scholz, JL, Marshak-Rothstein A, Cancro MP. : Molecular pattern recognition in peripheral B cell tolerance: lesson from Age associated B Cells Curr Opin Immunol 61: 33-38, August 2019 Notes: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coi.2019.07.008.

Sindhava, VJ, Oropallo, MA, Moody, K, Naradikian, M, Higdon, LE, Zhou, L, Myles, A, Green, N, Nündel, K, Stohl, W, Schmidt, AM, Cao, W Dorta-Estremera, S, Kambayashi, T Marshak-Rothstein, A, Cancro, MP: A TLR9-dependent checkpoint governs B cell responses to DNA-containing antigens J Clin Invest 127(5): 1651-1663, March 2017.

Wang S , Wang J, Kumar V, Karnell J, Naiman B , Phillip S. Gross, Saifur Rahman, Kamelia Zerrouki, Hanna R, Morehouse C, Holoweckyj N, Liu H, Autoimmunity Mol Med Team, Manna, Z Goldbach-Mansky R, Wilson M, Hasni S, Siegel R, Sanjuan M, Streicher K, Cancro MP, Kolbeck, R and Ettinger, R: IL-21 drives expansion and plasma cell differentiation of autoreactive CD11chiT-bet+ B cells in SLE. Nature Communications 9: 1758, May 2018.

Naradikian, MS, Myles, A, Beiting, DP, Roberts, K, Dawson L, Herati, R, Bengsch, B, Linderman, S, Stelekati, E, Spolski, R, Wherry, EJ, Hunter, C, Hensley, S, Leonard, W, and Cancro MP: Cutting Edge: IL4, IL21, and IFNγ interact to govern TBET and CD11c expression in TLR-activated B cells. J. Immunol 197(4): 1023-1028, August 2016.

Goenka R, Matthews AH, Zhang B, O’Neill PJ, Scholz JL, Migone T-S, Leonard WJ, Stohl W, Hershberg U, Cancro MP: Local BLyS production by T follicular cells mediates retention of high affinity B cells during affinity maturation J. Exp. Med. 211: 45-56, January 2014.

Cancro MP: Signalling crosstalk in B cells: managing worth and need. Nat Rev Immunol. 9(9): 657-661, September 2009.

Miller JP, Stadanlick JE, Cancro MP: Space, selection, and surveillance: setting boundaries with BLyS. J. Immunol. 176(11): 6405-10, June 2006.

Cancro MP: The BLyS family of ligands and receptors: an archetype for niche-specific homeostatic regulation. Immunol Rev. Trinchieri, G. (eds.). 202: 237-249, December 2004.

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Last updated: 12/13/2022
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