Oliver Angus Garden

faculty photo
Chair, Clinical Sciences & Advanced Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
Corinne R. and Henry Bower Professor of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine

Contact information
3900 Delancey Street
Room 2011
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Graduate Group Affiliations
BS (Pharmacology with Basic Medical Sciences )
King's College London, UK, 1990.
BVetMed (Veterinary Medicine (distinction in Medicine))
Royal Veterinary College, UK, 1993.
PhD (Gastrointestinal Immunology)
Royal Veterinary College, UK, 1998.
Permanent link

Description of Itmat Expertise

Our current research focuses on the role of regulatory cells of lymphoid and myeloid origin in the pathogenesis of cancer and autoimmune disease. We love dogs, not only because they are wonderful companions and members of our own families, but also because natural canine diseases offer insightful models for a plethora of human diseases -- and studying canine disease can help both dogs and humans, embracing our over-arching ethos of One Health, One Medicine. It is something we take very seriously at Penn Vet!

We have ongoing research on canine regulatory T cells and myeloid-derived suppressor cells in various canine cancers, including diffuse large B cell lymphoma, and autoimmune diseases, including immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia and myasthenia gravis. One of our exciting new areas of research is the influence of the intestinal microbiome, a key component of the exposome, on the pathogenesis of autoimmune disease and cancer in dogs. We collaborate widely, within both the veterinary and biomedical research communities, please contact us if you would like to reach out with a proposal for a collaboration, or just for a chat about your complementary research activities over a coffee. The following figure summarizes our current research themes.

Description of Research Expertise



Professor Oliver Garden’s laboratory at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, specialises in cellular immunology, with a specific expertise in regulatory T cell (Treg) and myeloid-derived suppressor cell (MDSC) biology. Oliver started his laboratory with the aid of a Wellcome Trust Advanced Fellowship in 2001 within the Department of Immunology, Imperial College London, Hammersmith Campus, following post-doctoral training at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine and a Residency in Small Animal Internal Medicine at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Our People

Oliver Garden's team comprises clinical and research staff, including veterinarians, doctoral candidates, post-doctoral fellows, research assistants, interns, residents, and students. Current Staff includes Dr. Jie Luo, Ms. Julia Ying Wu, Ms. Sabina Hlavaty, as well as several undergraduate student workers. Alumni include Dr. Michelle Goulart, Mr. Michael Denyer, Dr. Dammy Pinheiro, Dr. James Swann, and Mr. Luca Fortuna. To date, six PhD students, five BSc students and 14 MSc students have successfully graduated following projects carried out within Oliver’s laboratory. Of the MSc students, ten gained Distinctions for their projects and all but two have completed – or are currently completing – successful PhD projects. Of the PhD students, all completed their theses within three or four years (depending on the program) and have carved out successful careers in research, medical practice or (in one case) patent law. Most recently, Sabina Hlavaty was awarded the Howard Hughes Medical Institute-Burroughs Wellcome Fund Medical Research Fellowship for 2018/2019.

Key expertise and funding

Key techniques for which Oliver’s laboratory has specific expertise include T cell culture, including sophisticated Treg assays in vitro; multi-colour analytical flow cytometry; ELISAs and enhanced electrochemiluminescent assays of a number of Th1 and Th2 cytokines; and molecular biological techniques, including PCR, cloning and transduction of constructs into mammalian cells.

Total extra-mural grant income since 2003 has been ≈ $2.2m, including industrial sources, the Medical Research Council, Mizutani Foundation for Glycoscience, Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, Biotechnology and Biological Research Council (BBSRC), European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ECVIM), Italian Ministry of Health, American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (ACVECC), Wellcome Trust, and Petplan Charitable Trust (PPCT). Current funding includes grants from the PPCT and various commercial sponsors.

Delivering for industry

Oliver’s laboratory has successfully worked with seven major industrial partners over the past ten years, consistently delivering on-time and within budget – for both product-orientated projects and blue-sky research. The laboratory has a dynamic, forward-looking, innovative and committed work ethic – with an unquestionable dedication to its team members, to its academic funders and to its industrial partners.

The biennial Treg/Th Cell Symposium

Oliver has been the coordinator for a biennial series of one-day symposia "Treg: Regulatory T Cells and T Helper Cells", the first one of which (March 2012) focused on ontogeny, plasticity and clinical applications. See the Proceedings notes for the first of these exciting events, published in Immunology. These meetings have been organised with the help of the RVC Continuing Professional Development Unit. Six world-class speakers came to the RVC to share their research findings in March of 2012, supported by three short oral communications and a number of poster presentations by PhD students and post-doctoral scientists.

The second of these exciting symposia was held at the RVC on 25th April 2014. Speakers included Professors Joachim Schultze, Awen Gallimore, Lucy Walker and Anne Cooke, and Drs Jeff Davies and Megan MacLeod. Please see "Treg: Regulatory T Cells and T Helper Cells" for details. Proceedings notes were published in Immunology, as well as a meeting review by Julia Wu in Immunology News.

Research awards

Two of Oliver's publications have been recognised by prestigious international awards:

(1) His review of systemic inflammatory response syndrome and sepsis, for which the first-named author is Dan Lewis, won an award for being one of the top five most downloaded publications in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine in 2013, being downloaded a total of 6,372 times in this time period.

(2) His study of duodenal lesions in diet-responsive chronic enteropathy, for which the first-named author is David Walker, won a European Emesis Council / European Society of Comparative Gastroenterology award for the best gastrointestinal publication from a European research group in 2013.

Selected Publications

Comazzi, S, Avery, PR, Garden, OA, Riondato, F, Rütgen, B, Vernau, W; European Lymphoma Network: European canine lymphoma network consensus recommendations for reporting flow cytometry in canine hematopoietic neoplasms. Cytometry B Clinical Cytometry 92(5): 411-419. doi: 10.1002/cyto.b.21382 September 2017.

Heaps LA, Scudder CJ, Lipscomb VJ, Steinbach SMl, Priestnall SL, Martineau H, Szladovits B, Fowkes RC, Garden OA: Serum anti-Müllerian hormone concentrations before and after treatment of an ovarian granulosa cell tumour in a cat. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery Open Reports 3(2): 2055116917722701. doi: 10.1177/2055116917722701, Aug 2017.

Gibbons N, Goulart MR, Chang Y, Efstathiou K, Purcell R, Wu Y, Peters L M, Turmaine M, Szladovits B, Garden OA: Phenotypic heterogeneity of peripheral monocytes in healthy dogs. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 190: 26-30. doi: 10.1016/j.vetimm.2017.06.007, Aug 2017.

Lowrie M, Hadjivassiliou M, Sanders DS, Garden OA.: A presumptive case of gluten sensitivity in a border terrier: a multisystem disorder? Veterinary Record 179(22): 573. doi: 10.1136/vr.103910, December 2016

Singh, Y, Garden, OA, Florian, L and Cobb, BS: Retroviral transduction of helper T cells as a genetic approach to study mechanisms controlling their differentiation and function. Journal of Visualized Experiments (117): doi: 10.3791/54698, Nov 4 2016.

Singh Y, Garden OA, Lang F, Cobb BS: MicroRNAs regulate T-cell production of interleukin-9 and identify hypoxia-inducible factor-2α as an important regulator of T helper 9 and regulatory T-cell differentiation. Immunology 149(1): 74-86. doi: 10.1111/imm.12631. Sep 2016.

Giuliano A, Swift R, Arthurs C, Marote G, Abramo F, McKay J, Thomson C, Beltran M, Millar M, Priestnall S, Dobson J, Costantino-Casas F, Petrou T, McGonnell IM, Davies AJ, Weetman M, Garden OA, Masters JR, Thrasivoulou C, Ahmed A: Quantitative Expression and Co-Localization of Wnt Signalling Related Proteins in Feline Squamous Cell Carcinoma. PLOS ONE 11(8): e0161103. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0161103, Aug 2016.

Aguiar J, Chang YM, Garden OA: Complications of percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy in dogs and cats receiving corticosteroid treatment. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine 30(4): 1008-13. doi: 10.1111/jvim.13969, July 2016.

Carney K, Chang YR, Wilson S, Calnan C, Reddy PS, Chan WY, Gilmartin T, Hernandez G, Schaffer L, Head SR, Morley J, de Mestre A, Affleck K, Garden OA: Regulatory T-cell-intrinsic amphiregulin is dispensable for suppressive function. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 137(6): 1907-1909.doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2016.01.030, Jun 2016.

Denyer MP, Pinheiro DY, Shepherd AJ* and Garden OA*: Missed, not missing: Phylogenomic evidence for the existence of avian FoxP3. PLOS ONE 11(3): e0150988 [*Dual last and corresponding authorship] March 2016.

back to top
Last updated: 07/26/2018
The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania