James L. Riley, Ph.D.

faculty photo
Professor of Microbiology
Department: Microbiology
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
8-122 SCTR
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6160
Office: (215) 573-6792
Fax: (215) 573-8590
BS (Molecular Biology)
Vanderbilt University (Charles K Singleton, mentor), 1989.
Ph.D. (Genetics and Molecular Biology)
Emory University (Jeremy M. Boss, mentor), 1994.
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Description of Research Expertise

Research Interests
CD28 family of receptors, adoptive T cell therapy, HIV gene therapy, human T regulatory therapy.

Key words: T cell activation, Tumor Specific T cells, HIV specific T cells, expression profiles.

Research Summary
Dr. Riley’s lab studies the signals that control primary human T cell activation and function with special attention to how these manipulations can be exploited to develop T cell therapies for HIV, autoimmune disease and cancer. We are studying how to best re-direct and expand human T regulatory cells for use in the treatment of autoimmune disease. We are evaluating both the use of TCR and CARs to redirect Tregs and studying both how these methods provide antigen suppression and if these approaches alter T regulatory cell stability. Part of this research is studies to understand how altering the media by which T cells are expanded in alters their function and engraftment potential in vivo. These studies have spurred interested on how various metabolic pathways are perturb by external signaling and environment. The lab is also focused on designing HIV resistant, HIV specific T cells to be key players in the HIV Cure effort. As a leader of the BEAT HIV Martin Delaney Collaboratory his lab is evaluating ways to make T cells resistant to HIV entry and integration and developing HIV-1 specific chimeric antigen receptors to evaluate the ability of these T cells to control HIV replication in both in vitro and humanized mouse studies. Dr. Riley’s basic research findings using primary human T cells have been used as the basis and rationale for numerous Phase I adoptive T cell therapy clinical trials.

Rotation Projects
Please contact Dr. Riley concerning current rotation projects.

Lab personnel:

Xiaoling Jin, Senior Research Investigator
Meidi Gu, Senior Research Investigator
Divanshu Shukla, Research Associate
Mosha Deng, Graduate Student
Kaitlin Read, Postdoctoral Fellow
Edmund Carvalho, Postdoctoral Fellow
David Nardo, Postdoctoral Fellow
Vipin Bhardwaj,Postdoctoral Fellow
Amelia Knudsen-Clark,Postdoctoral Fellow
Emileigh Maddox, Lab Manager; Research Specialist
Max Eldabbas, Lab Manager;Research Specialist
Jonah Perelman,undergraduate researcher
Cole Christopher, undergraduate researcher

Selected Publications

Leibman RS, Richardson MW, Ellebrecht CT, Maldini CR, Glover JA, Secreto AJ, Kulikovskaya I, Lacey SF, Akkina SR, Yi Y, Shaheen F, Wang J, Dufendach KA, Holmes MC, Collman RG, Payne AS, Riley JL: Supraphysiologic control over HIV-1 replication mediated by CD8 T cells expressing a re-engineered CD4-based chimeric antigen receptor. PLoS Pathogens 13(10): e1006613, Oct 2017.

Ecker C, Guo L, Voicu S, Gil-de-Gómez L, Medvec A, Cortina L, Pajda J, Andolina M, Torres-Castillo M, Donato JL, Mansour S, Zynda ER, Lin PY, Varela-Rohena A, Blair IA, Riley JL.: Differential Reliance on Lipid Metabolism as a Salvage Pathway Underlies Functional Differences of T Cell Subsets in Poor Nutrient Environments. Cell Reports 23(3): 741, Apr 2018.

Maldini CR, Ellis GI, Riley JL.: CAR T cells for infection, autoimmunity and allotransplantation. Nature Reviews Immunology 18(10): 605-616, Oct 2018.

Maldini CR, Gayout K, Leibman RS, Dopkin DL, Mills JP, Shan X, Glover JA, Riley JL.: HIV-Resistant and HIV-Specific CAR-Modified CD4 + T Cells Mitigate HIV Disease Progression and Confer CD4 + T Cell Help In Vivo. Molecular Therapy 28(7): 1585-1599, Jul 2020.

Maldini CR*, Claiborne DT*, Okawa K, Chen T, Dopkin DL, Shan X, Power KA, Trifonova RT, Krupp K, Phelps M, Vrbanac VD, Tanno S, Bateson T, Leslie GJ, Hoxie JA, Boutwell CL, Riley JL*, Allen TM*.: Dual CD4-based CAR T cells with distinct costimulatory domains mitigate HIV pathogenesis in vivo Nature Medicine 26(11): 1776-1787, Nov 2020.

Tebas P, Jadlowsky JK, Shaw PA, Tian L, Esparza E, Brennan A, Kim S, Naing SY, Richardson MW, Vogel AN, Maldini CR, Kong H, Liu X, Lacey SF, Bauer AM, Mampe F, Richman LP, Lee G, Ando D, Levine BL, Porter DL, Zhao Y, Siegel DL, Bar KJ, June CH, Riley JL.: CCR5-edited CD4 T cells augment HIV-specific immunity to enable post rebound control of HIV replication. Journal of Clinical Investigation 131(7): e144486, Apr 2021.

Pawlicki JM, Cookmeyer DL, Maseda D, Everett JK, Wei F, Kong H, Zhang Q, Wang HY, Tobias JW, Walter DM, Zullo KM, Javaid S, Watkins A, Wasik MA, Bushman FD, Riley JL.: NPM-ALK-Induced Reprogramming of Mature TCR-Stimulated T Cells Results in Dedifferentiation and Malignant Transformation. Cancer Research 81(12): 3241-3254, June 2021.

Ellis GI, Sheppard NC, Riley JL.: Genetic engineering of T cells for immunotherapy. Nature Reviews Immunology 7: 427-447, July 2021.

Kim GB, Fritsche J, Bunk S, Andrea Mahr2, Unverdorben F, Tosh K, Kong H, Maldini CR, Lau C, Srivatsa S, Jiang S, Glover J, Dopkin D, Zhang CX, Schuster H, Kowalewski DJ, Goldfinger V, Ott M, Fuhrmann D, Baues M, Boesmueller H, Schräaeder C, Schimmack G, Song C, Hoffgaard F, Roemer M, Tsou CC, Hofmann M, Treiber T, Hutt M, Alten L, Jaworski M, Alpert A, Missel S, Reinhardt C, Singh H, Schoor O, Walter S, Wagner C, Maurer D, Weinschenk T, and Riley JL: Quantitative immunopeptidomics reveals a tumor stroma-specific target for T cell therapy. Science Translational Medicine 14(660): eabo6135, Aug 2022.

Ellis GI, Coker KE, Winn DW, Deng MZ, Shukla D, Bhoj V, Milone MC, Wang W, Liu C, Naji A, Duran-Struuck R, Riley JL.: Trafficking and persistence of alloantigen-specific chimeric antigen receptor regulatory T cells in Cynomolgus macaque. Cell Reports Medicine 3(5): 100614, May 2022.

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Last updated: 05/07/2024
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