Harvard Medical School

Contact Information:

Harvard Medical School

77 Avenue Louis Pasteur


Boston, MA 02115

Phone: 617-432-6827
Fax: 617-432-6829


Division of Immunology

Assistant: Libby Nigro


Phone: 617-432-6828


Research Summary

Research in the von Andrian lab focuses on the mechanisms of migration of leukocytes around the body and the interactions between leukocytes during an immune response. While extensive work in this field has been accomplished using in vitro techniques, a deep understanding of these issues requires in vivo studies. Therefore, our lab uses intravital microscopy in a number of projects to visualize the detailed kinetics and mechanisms of leukocyte migration and interactions within physiologically intact tissues in anesthetized animals.

 A number of researchers in the lab use intravital two-photon microscopy to study lymphocyte interactions with antigen presenting cells (APCs) in the lymph node. A few years ago, we have established the technique of intravital multiphoton microscopy in mouse popliteal lymph nodes. We are using this model for in vivo studies of adaptive immune responses. Sarah Henrickson, an MD/Ph.D. student in the lab, is studying the roles of antigen affinity and antigen dose in T cell activation. Dr. Antonio Peixoto is interested in imaging in vivo the signaling events that take place during T cell activation. Lilly Vollmann, a graduate student from Vienna, is interested in imaging negative selection of thymocytes in the thymus. Dr. Tobias Junt is using intravital two-photon microscopy to image two biological events: the induction of antiviral immune responses by B cells in lymph nodes; and the generation of platelets in the bone marrow. We were recently joined by Ashley Moseman, a graduate student in the HMS Immunology Program, who is exploring the role of lymph-node resident macrophages in anti-viral immunity.

 Our lab also has long-standing interests in understanding the role of the bone marrow (BM), both as a site of migration and priming of leukocytes, as well as a site of production and migration of hematopoietic stem cells. Dr. Irina (Ira) Mazo is currently characterizing T cell-mediated immune response in the BM. Ira also works on mechanism(s) of multiple myeloma formation in the BM and development of cell therapies. Dr. Steffen Massberg, a Heisenberg Fellow from Germany, is investigating the physiological migration of stem and progenitor cells through the lymphatics and peripheral tissues. We are also interested in fundamental issues of lymphocyte activation, migration and specificity. Dr. Ahmad Goodarzi is interested in understanding how autoreactive effector T cells acquire tissue-specific migratory potential and effector activity, with a special emphasis on the CNS.

 Finally, we recently showed that NK cells have a role in adaptive responses to haptens and seem to maintain memory of those interactions. Dr. Silke Paust, a graduate of the HMS Immunology program, is continuing these studies as a post-doctoral fellow to explore how NK cells acquire and retain hapten-specificity. She was recently joined by Dr. Fulvia Vascotto who is studying the mechanisms that regulate NK cell function and migration.

Selected Publications

1. Mempel, T.R., Henrickson, S.E. and von Andrian, U.H.  T cell priming by dendritic cells in lymph nodes occurs in three distinct phases.  Nature 427: 154-159, 2004. 

 2. Mempel, T.R., Pittet, M.J., Khazaie, K., Weninger, W., Weissleder, R. von Boehmer, H. and von Andrian, U.H. Regulatory T cells reversibly suppress cytotoxic T cell function independent of effector differentiation.  Immunity, 25(1):129-141, 2006. 

 3. O’Leary, J.G., Goodarzi, M., Drayton, D. and von Andrian, U.H. T and B cell-independent adaptive immunity mediated by natural killer cells. Nature Immunology, 7 (5): 507-516, 2006. 

 4. Bonasio, R., Scimone, M.L., Schaerli, P., Grabie, N., Lichtman, A.H. and von Andrian, U.H. Clonal deletion of thymocytes by circulating dendritic cells homing to the thymus. Nature Immunology, 7:1192-1100, 2006 .

 5. Mora, J.R., Iwata, M., Eksteen, B., Song, S.-Y., Junt, T., Senman, B., Otipoby, K.L., Ricciardi-Castagnoli, P., Rajewsky, K., Adams, D.H. and von Andrian, U.H. Intestinal dendritic cells generate gut-homing IgA-secreting B cells. Science 314:1157-1169, 2006.