Fueling the Immune Response

Thursday, June 15
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

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This session will address the role that metabolism plays in shaping normal and pathogenic immune responses. Immune cells undergo metabolic reprogramming upon stimulation that is essential for the function of those cells and mechanisms that modulate these metabolic changes can impair or shape the immune response. This session will explore macrophage and T cell metabolism and how inflammatory diseases and anti-tumor immunity are influenced by metabolic pathways and limited by metabolic barriers to immune function.

Angela Colmone


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Steven J. Bensinger

Associate Professor
Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics Director, Immunology, Inflammation, Infection and Transplantation (I3T) Research Initiative Director, Shared Resources, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center

Dr. Bensinger is an Associate Professor of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics, and of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology. He received his Veterinary Medical Degree and Doctor of Philosophy in Immunology from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Bensinger’s thesis work was completed under the mentorship of Dr. Laurence Turka, and focused on the development and function of CD4 regulatory T cells. Dr. Bensinger subsequently completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Peter Tontonoz at UCLA, where he examined the impact of lipid metabolism on lymphocyte function and adaptive immunity. Since establishing his own laboratory at UCLA, Dr. Bensinger has emerged as a leader in understanding the influence of lipid metabolism on the immune system. Dr. Bensinger currently serves as Director of Immunology, Inflammation, Infection and Transplantation (I3T) Research at UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine.


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Jeff Rathmell

Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Dr. Rathmell studies mechanisms that influence lymphocyte death and differentiation in inflammatory diseases and cancer. Following undergraduate studies at the University of Northern Iowa, his earned a PhD in Immunology at Stanford University. In postdoctoral studies at the University of Chicago and University of Pennsylvania, he showed that lymphocyte metabolism was dynamically regulated to control cell function and survival in inflammatory diseases and cancer. He began at Duke University in 2003 in the departments of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology and Immunology and moved in 2015 to Vanderbilt University to direct the Vanderbilt Center for Immunobiology and co-leads to Host Tumor Interactions Program of the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center. The ongoing focus on Dr. Rathmell’s ongoing work is to understand how metabolic pathways regulate CD4 T cell subsets in inflammatory diseases and how the tumor microenvironment and metabolism impacts anti-cancer responses.


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Laurence A. Turka

Massachusetts General Hospital/ Harvard Medical School

Dr. Turka received his MD degree from the Yale University School of Medicine, and trained in Internal Medicine at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Dr. Turka was a renal fellow at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where his research fellowship was conducted in Dr. Charles B. Carpenter’s laboratory. In 2009 Dr. Turka came to Boston and is currently located at the Massachusetts General Hospital, where he is Co-Director of the Center for Transplantation Sciences, and the Harold and Ellen Danser Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Turka has been continuously funded by the NIH for the past 25 years, and has also received funding from the American Heart Association, the National Kidney Foundation, and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International. He received the Young Investigator Award from the American Society of Nephrology in 1996, and from the American Society of Transplantation in 1998. He is a former President of the American Society of Transplantation and recipient of their Excellence in Mentoring Award. He has served as a permanent member of the SAT study section, and Chair of the NIAID Board of Scientific Counselors. He is a former section editor of The Journal of Immunology, past associate editor of The American Journal of Transplantation, and Editor in Chief of The Journal of Clinical Investigation. He currently serves as Deputy Director of the Immune Tolerance Network. He was elected to membership in the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 1995, and the Association of American Physicians in 2003.


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