Ph.D Testimonials 1

"I chose to apply to UW Immunology’s graduate program because it had exactly what I wanted in a graduate program: a whole department of exciting immunology research.  It wasn’t until I went to visit that I fell in love with it though.  My first impression of Seattle was of a playground.  It is surrounded by mountains and full of hills, and where there aren’t hills, there’s water.  How could you not love it?  My mind was full of all the exciting things I could do there.  And then I met the people of UW Immunology.  I immediately felt like I was amidst something special.  This phenomenal grou

The primary and joint faculty serve as the core members of the Department of Immunology.  Each member of the faculty has an outstanding record of research funding and productivity.  They also participate in the graduate program in immunology, with a demonstrated history of successful graduate student and postdoctoral fellow mentoring.

Our adjunct faculty add depth of research to the department and also provide opportunities for research for our graduate students.  These individuals enable collaboration in research and education for UW Immunology students and postdoctoral fellows.

The affiliate faculty provide opportunities for collaboration in research and education in immunology for students and postdoctoral fellows. They actively engage in department activities and expand the depth of research within the department.

UW Immunology faculty are internationally recognized for innovative and significant contributions to research in diverse areas of immunology.   

Our faculty are regularly published in the most competitive biomedical journals, and serve on the editorial boards for a number of these journals.  Faculty have an outstanding record of obtaining research funding; many faculty members are recipients of NIH MERIT Awards and prestigious junior faculty awards from the Cancer Research Institute, Burroughs Wellcome, Pew and Seale Scholars Programs.


Tolerance and autoimmunity includes the study of how the immune system distinguishes microbial products from self-antigens and how a breakdown in this process causes autoimmune disease. 



Allergy includes the study of hypersensitivity disorders of the immune system to normally innocuous environmental antigens.



The study of innate immunity is focused on host defense mechanisms that sense the presence of pathogens in order to mobilize the immune response without requiring specific recognition of a particular pathogen.  Innate immune cells also play a role in tissue homeostasis and wound healing.

The Center for Innate Immunity and Immune Disease (CIIID) at the School of Medicine, directed by Dr. Michael Gale, Jr., focuses on innate immunity, which represents the body’s processes of immune recognition and response programming that establishes effective immunity and immune regulation. CIIID's mission is to provide a formal infrastructure for innate immunity research, development, and training activity that does not currently exist at the UW.



The study of the adaptive arm of the immune system focuses on the biology of lymphocytes that express unique receptors for specific antigens.  These lymphocytes are able to adapt the immune system to respond more efficiently to subsequent encounters with pathogens producing a specific antigen.  



Cancer immunology is the study of interactions between the immune system and cancer cells, including the focus on cancer-specific antigens with goals towards new vaccines and antibody therapies.



Developmental immunology focuses on the generation of all components of the immune system during development of the organism.



Molecular immunology focuses on molecular mechanisms that are involved in generating and regulating immune responses.  This area includes research on transcriptional, post-transcriptional, epigenetic and post-translational mechanisms for regulating expression of genes involved in immune responses, molecular mechanisms by which pathogens evade immune responses, signal transduction mechanisms in innate and adaptive immune cells that regulate their differentiation and function and molecular mechanisms that orchestrate the trafficking of immune cells and development of lymphoid organs.  


UW Immunology is comprised of faculty who are international experts in immunology research and together create an extraordinary environment for the training of biomedical scientists. The University of Washington consistently ranks in the top two institutions nationally in research support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  Affiliated institutions augment the rich research environment provided by core faculty in the Department of Immunology.

Our faculty consider training to be an important part of scholarship and teach at the undergraduate, graduate and professional school levels. Faculty promote excellence in teaching and seek to aid students in realizing their potential as future scholars by helping them develop creative approaches and critical thinking skills to solve important immunological problems. 

Primary & Joint

The primary and joint faculty serve as the core members of the Department of Immunology. Each member of the faculty has an outstanding record of research funding and productivity. Faculty also participate in the graduate program in Immunology, with a demonstrated history of successful graduate student and postdoctoral fellow mentoring.


Our adjunct faculty members hold primary appointments in other UW departments and, although not voting faculty in the department, have demonstrated a strong commitment to the Immunology Department program and core mission. Many serve as mentors to our graduate students.


Affiliate faculty are strongly engaged in UW Immunology activities but hold appointments at our affiliate institutions, which are major biological research institutions in the Seattle area. 

Testimonials: Student Life

“I chose the UW Immunology program for many reasons: I really liked the academic but fun environment created by other grad students and faculty, I was excited by the faculty research here in the UW Immunology Department, and I loved Seattle.  After two years in the program/department I still feel this way!  Also, Peggy is the best!”

Amy Berkley

3rd Year Immunology Graduate Student

The Department of Immunology is a basic science department within the University of Washington, School of Medicine located in Seattle. 

Our mission is to advance understanding of the function of the immune system in order to enhance our ability to fight infectious disease, cancer and autoimmune disease.  Basic research of all aspects of immunology is critical to this mission, as well as translational research to link our findings to the development of new therapies.

We hold diversity and inclusiveness as core values in our department and emphasize their importance throughout our research, education and practice. We strive to create a climate that fosters belonging, respect and value for all within our scientific community and the institution.

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Recent Publications

Innate and adaptive lymphocytes sequentially shape the gut microbiota and lipid metabolism.Mao K, Baptista AP, Tamoutounour S, Zhuang L, Bouladoux N, Martins AJ, Huang Y, Gerner MY, Belkaid Y, Germain RN. Nature. 2018; 554(7691):255-259. PMID: 29364878

Dendritic cell and antigen dispersal landscapes regulate T cell immunity.Gerner MY, Casey KA, Kastenmuller W, Germain RN.The Journal of experimental medicine. 2017; 214(10):3105-3122. PMID:28847868

Adaptation of commensal proliferating Escherichia coli to the intestinal tract of young children with cystic fibrosis. Matamouros S, Hayden HS, Hager KR, Brittnacher MJ, Lachance K, Weiss EJ, Pope CE, Imhaus AF, McNally CP, Borenstein E, Hoffman LR, Miller SI. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Feb 13;115(7):1605-1610. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1714373115. Epub 2018 Jan 29. PMID:29378945

Production of BMP4 by endothelial cells is crucial for endogenous thymic regeneration. Wertheimer T, Velardi E, Tsai J, Cooper K, Xiao S, Kloss CC, Ottmüller KJ, Mokhtari Z, Brede C, deRoos P, Kinsella S, Palikuqi B, Ginsberg M, Young LF, Kreines F, Lieberman SR, Lazrak A, Guo P, Malard F, Smith OM, Shono Y, Jenq RR, Hanash AM, Nolan DJ, Butler JM, Beilhack A, Manley NR, Rafii S, Dudakov JA, van den Brink MRM. Sci Immunol. 2018 Jan 12;3(19). pii: eaal2736. doi: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aal2736. PMID: 29330161

Suppression of luteinizing hormone enhances HSC recovery after hematopoietic injury. Velardi E, Tsai JJ, Radtke S, Cooper K, Argyropoulos KV, Jae-Hung S, Young LF, Lazrak A, Smith OM, Lieberman S, Kreines F, Shono Y, Wertheimer T, Jenq RR, Hanash AM, Narayan P, Lei Z, Moore MA, Kiem HP, van den Brink MRM, Dudakov JA. Nat Med. 2018 Feb;24(2):239-246. doi: 10.1038/nm.4470. Epub 2018 Jan 8. PMID: 29309056

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