Temporal Dynamics of Immune Responses

An overarching goal of ours is to understand how immune responses unfold over time and the factors that regulate these trajectories.

The immune system is a decentralized collection of cells across the body that must regulate one another to initiate, carry out, and resolve responses to foreign threats, including infectious pathogens and cancers. Performing detailed longitudinal analyses of immune responses, we aim to identify key inflection points that guide the type of immune response that unfolds. We have recently investigated the metabolic adaptations that take place in T cells as they mount responses to pathogens, identifying a unique transient state with a unique metabolic phenotype that enables T cell proliferation.

We are currently investigating how changes in dendritic cell states guide the nature of T cell responses that are mounted to different types of threats. Other ongoing studies aim to understand how human immune responses take place in the contexts of cancer immunotherapy, acute infection, and organ transplantation. Moreover, our initiative called the ImmunoMicrobiome Project focuses on how the microbiome regulates the immune system over time through its production of immunomodulatory metabolites. 

Selected Publications

Landscape of Coordinated Immune Responses to H1N1 Challenge in Humans
JCI, 2020
Single-cell analysis by mass cytometry reveals metabolic states of early-activated CD8+ T cells during the primary immune response.
Immunity, 2021
Depletion of Microbiome-derived Molecules in the Host using Clostridium Genetics.
Science, 2019

Research Team

Demi Sandel

PhD Student, Biomedical Sciences

Elizabeth McCarthy

PhD Student, Biological and Medical Informatics and MSTP

Joël Babdor, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Lauren Levine, MD

Postdoctoral Fellow, Medical Oncologist (Melanoma)

Maya Lopez-Ichikawa

PhD Student, Biomedical Sciences


Media highlights of Spitzer Lab's research.
Immunometabolism the CyTOF Way
The Benioff Center for Microbiome Medicine, Microbiome Research Program
Science Studies Describe Role for Microbiome-Derived Immunity, Platform to Develop Flavivirus Vaccines