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Research and Clinical Interests

(1) Transcriptional regulation of differentiation of T lymphocytes into distinct functional subsets with diverse effector functions; (2) Signaling networks maintaining homeostasis of the immune system with commensal microflora; (3) Mechanisms of HIV entry and HIV pathogenesis, with emphasis on developing murine models for HIV disease.

Selected Publications

Sczesnak S, Segata N, Qin X, Gevers D, Petrosino JF, Huttenhower C, Littman DR, Ivanov II. The Genome of Th17 Cell-Inducing Segmented Filamentous Bacteria Reveals Extensive Auxotrophy and Adaptations to the Intestinal Environment. Cell Host Microbe. 2011 Sep 15;10(3):260-72. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2011.08.005.

Huh JR, Leung MW, Huang P, Ryan DA, Krout MR, Malapaka RR, Chow J, Manel N, Ciofani M, Kim SV, Cuesta A, Santori FR, Lafaille JJ, Xu HE, Gin DY, Rastinejad F, Littman DR. Digoxin and its derivatives suppress TH17 cell differentiation by antagonizing RORγt activity. Nature. 2011 Apr 28;472(7344):472(7344). Cited in Pubmed; PMID 21441909. doi: 10.1038/nature09978.

Collins A, Hewitt SL, Chaumeil J, Sellars ML, Micsinai M, Allinne J, Parisi F, Nora E, Bolland DJ, Corcoran AE, Kluger Y, Bosselut R, Ellmeier W, Chong MMW, Littman DR, and Skok JA. RUNX Transcription Factor-Mediated Association of Cd4 and Cd8 Enables Coordinate Gene Regulation. Immunity. 2011 Mar 25;34(3):303-14. Cited in Pubmed; PMID 21435585. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2011.03.004. PMCID: PMC3101577.

Manel N, Hogstad B, Wang Y, Levy DE, Unutmaz D, Littman DR. A cryptic sensor for HIV-1 activates antiviral innate immunity in dendritic cells. Nature. 2010 Sep 9;467(7312):214–7. doi: 10.1038/nature09337. PMCID: PMC3051279.

Ivanov II, Atarashi K, Manel N, Brodie EL, Shima T, Karaoz U, Wei D, Goldfarb KC, Santee CA, Lynch SV, Tanoue T, Imaoka A, Itoh K, Takeda K, Umesaki Y, Honda K, Littman DR. Induction of intestinal Th17 cells by segmented filamentous bacteria. Cell. 2009 Oct 30;139(3):485-98. Cited in Pubmed; PMID 19836068. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2009.09.033.

Egawa T, Littman DR. ThPOK acts late in specification of the helper T cell lineage and suppresses Runx-mediated commitment to the cytotoxic T cell lineage. Nat Immunol. 2008 Oct;9(10):1131-9. Cited in Pubmed; PMID 18776905. doi: 10.1038/ni.1652.

Zhou L, Lopes JE, Chong MM, Ivanov II, Min R, Victora GD, Shen Y, Du J, Rubtsov YP, Rudensky AY, Ziegler SF, Littman DR. TGF-beta-induced Foxp3 inhibits T(H)17 cell differentiation by antagonizing RORgammat function. Nature. 2008 May 8;453(7192):236-40. Cited in Pubmed; PMID 18368049. doi: 10.1038/nature06878.

Egawa T, Tillman RE, Naoe Y, Taniuchi I, Littman DR. The role of the Runx transcription factors in thymocyte differentiation and in homeostasis of naive T cells. J Exp Med. 2007 Aug 6;204(8):1945-57. Cited in Pubmed; PMID 17646406.

Zhou L, Ivanov II, Spolski R, Min R, Shenderov K, Egawa T, Levy DE, Leonard WJ, Littman DR. IL-6 programs Th17 cell differentiation by promoting the sequential engagement of the IL-21 and IL-23 pathways. Nat Immunol. 2007;8:967–74. Cited in Pubmed; PMID 17581537. doi: 10.1038/ni1488.

Ivanov II, McKenzie BS, Zhou L, Tadokoro CE, Lepelley A, Lafaille JJ, Cua DJ, Littman DR. The orphan nuclear receptor RORgammat directs the differentiation program of proinflammatory IL-17+ T helper cells. Cell. 2006 Sep 22;126(6):1121-33. Cited in Pubmed; PMID 16990136.

Egawa T, Eberl G, Taniuchi I, Benlagha K, Geissmann F, Hennighausen L, Bendelac A, Littman DR. Genetic evidence supporting selection of the Valpha14i NKT cell lineage from double-positive thymocyte precursors. Immunity. 2005 Jun;22(6):705-16. Cited in Pubmed; PMID 15963785.

Geissmann F, Cameron TO, Sidobre S, Manlongat N, Kronenberg M, Briskin MJ, Dustin ML, Littman DR. Intravascular immune surveillance by CXCR6+ NKT cells patrolling liver sinusoids. PLoS Biol. 2005 Apr;3(4):e113. Cited in Pubmed; PMID 15799695.

Niess JH, Brand S, Gu X, Landsman L, Jung S, McCormick BA, Vyas JM, Boes M, Ploegh HL, Fox JG, Littman DR, Reinecker HC. CX3CR1-mediated dendritic cell access to the intestinal lumen and bacterial clearance. Science. 2005 Jan 14;307(5707):254-8. Cited in Pubmed; PMID 15653504.

Eberl G, Littman DR. Thymic origin of intestinal alphabeta T cells revealed by fate mapping of RORgammat+ cells. Science. 2004 Jul 9;305(5681):248-51. Cited in Pubmed; PMID 15247480.

Geissmann F, Jung S, Littman DR. Blood monocytes consist of two principal subsets with distinct migratory properties. Immunity. 2003 Jul;19(1):71-82. Cited in Pubmed; PMID 12871640.

Selected Reviews

Ivanov II, Diehl GE, Littman DR. Lymphoid tissue inducer cells in intestinal immunity. In: Gut-associated lymphoid tissues. Curr Top Micro Immunol. 2006;308:59-82.

Taniuchi I, Ellmeier W, Littman DR. The CD4/CD8 Lineage Choice: New insights into epigenetic regulation during T cell development. Adv Immunol. 2004;83:55-89.

Ellmeier W, Sawada S, Littman DR. The regulation of CD4 and CD8 coreceptor gene expression during T cell development. Ann Rev Immunol. 1999;17:523-54.

Organizational Associations

Elected Member, Association of American Physicians, 1999; Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2003; Member, National Academy of Sciences, 2004; Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, 2004

Selected Awards

Alpha Omega Alpha, 1980
Alexander Berg Prize in Microbiology and Immunology, Washington Univ., 1980
Diplomate, National Board of Medical Examiners, 1981
Jane Coffin Childs Fellowship, 1981
Searle Scholar Award, Chicago Community Trust, 1986
Michael Heidelberger Lecture, New York University, 1995
Bio-Mega/Boehringer Ingelheim Lecture, University of Montreal, 1997
NIH MERIT Award, 1997
Guru, NIH Immunology Interest Group Retreat, 1999
NIH Director's Lecture, 2002
New York City Mayor's Award for Excellence in Science and Technology, 2004
Blumenthal Memorial Lecture, University of Minnesota, 2006
Bob Smith Lecture, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, 2006
Stephen Max Memorial Lecture, University of Maryland, 2007
Beirne B. Carter Lecture in Immunology, University of Virginia, 2007
American Association of Immunologists, AAI-Invitrogen Meritorious Career Award, 2010