David J. Rawlings, M.D.

David J. Rawlings, M.D.

Professor, Pediatrics; Director, Center for Immunity and Immunotherapies, Seattle Children's Research Institute; Chief, Division of Immunology, Seattle Children's Hospital; and Adjunct Professor, Immunology

Dr. Rawlings graduated Magna Cum Laude in Biological Sciences from Davidson College, and received his M.D. from the University of North Carolina. He completed residency and chief residency in pediatrics at UCSF, and Pediatric Rheumatology/Immunology subspecialty training at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. He pursued post-doctoral research as an intramural fellow at the NIH and in the HHMI, UCLA. Formerly a member of the UCLA faculty, Dr. Rawlings joined the University of Washington in 2001. He directs the Center for Immunity and Immunotherapies at Seattle Children’s Research Institute and is also chief of the Division of Immunology overseeing the immunodeficiency clinic at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Dr. Rawlings has received numerous awards and was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 2001 and the Association of American Physicians in 2007.

Contact Info

Department of Pediatrics
University of Washington
Center for Immunity and Immunotherapies
Seattle Children's Research Institute  Box 359300 JMB-6
1900 9th Avenue
Seattle WA 98101
Phone: 206-987-7319
Fax: 206-987-7310

Research Areas

  • Tolerance & Autoimmunity
    Molecular Immunology
    Developmental Immunology
    Cancer Immunology




David J. Rawlings

Dr. Rawlings’ primary research interests include dysregulated B cell development and signaling leading to immunodeficiency, autoimmunity or lymphoid malignancies, and the development of gene therapy for primary immune deficiency diseases. His laboratory uses expertise in basic and clinical immunology, signal transduction and lymphocyte developmental biology to understand how altered signals can lead to immunologic disease, with the ultimate goal of developing translational therapies capable of specifically modulating these disorders. Dr. Rawlings is a member of multiple regional and national organizations, an NIH study section member, and ad hoc reviewer for various grant programs and immunology journals. He also co-directs the Northwest Genome Engineering Consortium, a research program funded as part of the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research focused on developing enzymatic reagents and delivery methods for site specific gene repair in hematopoietic stem cells.

1). Lymphocyte signal transduction. B cell antigen receptor (BCR) engagement generates a multi-component complex of signaling effectors, or "signalosome", that simultaneously trigger both positive and negative signals. The response to receptor engagement depends on the convergence of these signals. Two critical signals regulated by this "signalosome" include: a.) the sustained intracellular calcium signal; and b.) activation of NFκB-mediated survival signals. Our work has focused on the biochemical events regulating these signals. Our current studies include biochemical analysis of tyrosine kinases, adapter proteins, and lipid enzymes; and use of various animal models to evaluate the developmental consequences of altered expression of these proteins.

Gene Therapy for primary immunodeficiency disorders. The past decade has witnessed tremendous progress in linking deficient function of signaling effectors with specific primary immunodeficiency disorders (PIDD). The non-receptor tyrosine kinase, Btk, is mutated in the primary B lineage immunodeficiency disease X-linked agammaglobulinemia (XLA in humans and in X-linked immunodeficiency, XID in mice). Similarly, mutation of the Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome protein (WASp) leads to a multilineage immunodeficiency in humans and mice. Because of the selective advantage for gene corrected cells, these disorders represent excellent targets for stem cell-based gene therapy. We have developed lineage specific viral systems for use in hematopoietic stem cells. We are also evaluating the capacity of Homing endonucleases (HEs) to facilitate genetic repair of mutant loci in animal models of immunodeficiency. Our ongoing includes analysis of reconstitution function in mutant mice, and human multipotent stem cells in vitro and in vivo. The laboratory is strongly committed to moving from preclinical studies into translational trials of clinical gene therapy for patients with primary immunodeficiency disorders.

Modeling normal and altered lymphopoiesis. We utilize unique (human and murine) in vitro B lineage culture models and murine knock-in /knock out models to study the signals that regulate B lymphopoiesis, B cell activation and B lineage Function in autoimmunity and malignancies. Current studies include analysis of Toll like receptor, Notch, and BAFF-receptor signaling cascades in the generation of peripheral B cell subsets and B cell tolerance; and analysis of the PKCβ/NFκB/PKD pathways in the development or progression of lymphoma.

1.   Aubert M, Ryu BY, Banks L, Rawlings DJ, Scharenberg AM, Jerome KR. Successful Targeting and Disruption of an Integrated Reporter Lentivirus Using the Engineered Homing Endonuclease Y2 I-AniI. (2011) PLoS ONE 6(2): e16825. PMCID: PMC3036713 

2. Sather BD, Ryu BY, Stirling BV, Garibov M, Kerns HM, Humblet-Baron S, Astrakhan A, Rawlings DJ. Development of B-lineage predominant lentiviral vectors for use in genetic therapies for B cell disorders. (2010) Molecular Therapy PMID: 21139568

3. Burroughs LM, Torgerson TR, Storb R, Carpenter PA, Rawlings DJ, Sanders J, Scharenberg AM, Skoda-Smith S, Englund J, Ochs HD, Woolfrey AE. Stable hematopoietic cell engraftment after low-intensity nonmyeloablative conditioning in patients with immune dysregulation, polyendocrinopathy, enteropathy, X-linked syndrome. (2010) J Allergy Clin Immunol. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 2064347

4. Misra RS, Shi G, Moreno-Garcia ME, Thankappan A, Tighe M, Mousseau B, Kusser K, Becker-Herman S, Hudkins KL, Dunn R, Kehry MR, Migone TS, Marshak-Rothstein A, Simon M, Randall TD, Alpers CE, Liggitt D, Rawlings DJ*, Lund FE. Gαq containing G proteins regulate B cell selection and survival and are required to prevent B-cell dependent autoimmunity. (2010) J Exp Med. 207(8):1775-1789. *corresponding author. PMCID: PMC2916136

5. Kerns HM, Ryu BY, Stirling BV, Sather BD, Astrakhan A, Humblet-Baron S, Liggitt D, and Rawlings DJ. B-cell–specific lentiviral gene therapy leads to sustained B-cell functional recovery in a murine model of X-linked agammaglobulinemia. (2010) Blood, 115(11):2146-2155. PMCID: PMC2844021

6. Blair PA, Norena LY, Flores-Borja F, Rawlings DJ, Isenberg DA, Ehrenstein MR, Mauri C. CD19+CD24hiCD38hi B cells exhibit regulatory capacity in healthy individuals but are functional impaired in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus patients (2010). Immunity. 32(1):129-140. PMID: 20079667

7. Moreno-García ME, Sommer K, Shinohara H, Bandaranayake AD, Kurosaki T, Rawlings DJ. MAGUK-controlled ubiquitination of CARMA1 modulates lymphocyte NF-{kappa}B activity. (2010) Mol Cell Biol. 30(4):922-934. PMCID: PMC2815576

B.S., Biological Sciences, Davidson College
M.D., University of North Carolina