David Parker, Ph.D.

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Dr. Parker’s laboratory is interested in the cell-surface molecules and intracellular signaling pathways which determine whether an encounter between helper T cells and B cells or other antigen presenting cells results in immunity or tolerance. In a simplified model of peripheral tolerance to self, we found that a signal through OX40 (CD134) blocks functional anergy in transferred T cells responding to transgenic or allogeneic antigens, drives the T cells to differentiate into cytokine-secreting effector cells and results in fatal acute graft versus host disease in unirradiated recipient animals. Current work is focused on the role of the alternative pathway of NFkB activation in that model.

In a second project, the lab is exploring the possibility that certain subsets of weakly autoreactive B cells play an essential role as antigen-presenting cells in inducing tolerance to self antigens in T cells. In a third project, we are exploring the "immunological synapse," the structure that forms in the contact zone between a T cell and an antigen presenting cell. We are examining the role of the synapse in the specific delivery of effector cytokines from T cells to antigen presenting cells, with an emphasis on the membrane-bound TNF family members, CD40L (CD154) and FasL. We are also exploring differences among T cell subsets in the structure of the synapse and the functional consequences of those differences.

Selected Publications

"CD28-CD80 interactions control regulatory T cell motility and immunological synapse formation," Journal of Immunology (Vol: 193, Issue: 12, Page 5894-5903) - 2014

"A cell-intrinsic requirement for NF-κB-inducing kinase in CD4 and CD8 T cell memory," Journal of Immunology (Vol: 191, Issue: 7, Page 3663-3672) - 2013

"B-Raf is required for positive selection and survival of DP cells, but not for negative selection of SP cells," International Immunology (Vol: 25, Issue: 4, Page 259-269) - 2013

"Peripheral CD4+ T-cell tolerance is induced in vivo by rare antigen-bearing B cells in follicular, marginal zone, and B-1 subsets," European Journal of Immunology (Vol: 43, Issue: 7, Page 1818-1827) - 2013

"The carrier effect and T cell/B cell cooperation in the antibody response," Journal of Immunology (Vol: 191, Issue: 5, Page 2025-2027) - 2013



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503 494-1498

Memberships & Associations

American Association of Immunologists Federation of American Scientists Union of Concerned Scientists