Search Site

Donna L. Farber, PhD

  • Professor of Surgical Sciences (in Surgery)
  • Professor of Microbiology & Immunology
  • Associate Director, Columbia Center for Translational Immunology
Donna L. Farber, PhD

Immune memory and protective immunity Influenza immune responses Transplantation immunology Autoimmunity

Research in our laboratory is focused on immunological memory and specifically on memory T cells as essential mediators of protective immunity. While it was previously thought that memory T cells mediate their protective responses through rapid migration and surveillance through tissues, it is now become clear that localization and establishment of non-circulating memory T cells resident in tissue sites is integral to immune protection. We are incorporating fundamental studies on mouse models with novel translational approaches on human samples to investigate tissue immune responses. We have identified a new subset of non-circulating tissue-resident memory T cells (TRM) in the lung that mediate optimal protective immunity in a mouse model of influenza infection. Current studies into mechanisms for how memory T cells become targeted to and maintained in the lung use total transcriptome profiling and bioinformatics approaches. We have identified novel roles for specific integrins and inflammatory mediators in this process, and are studying the signaling pathways involved in resident memory T cell generation and functional recall.      For our translational studies, we have established a unique collaboration and research protocol with the organ procurement organization for the New York Metropolitan area (LiveOnNY ; http://www.donatelifeny.org/) and transplant surgeons at New York Presbyterian (NYP) where we obtain multiple lymphoid and mucosal tissues from research-consented human organ donors. These studies are part of an NIH-funded Program on “Tissue compartmentalization of human lymphocytes”, involving immunologists, molecular biologists and computational biologists in five institutions to study human adaptive and innate lymphocyte compartmentalization and maintenance in human tissues throughout the human lifespan. Additionally, because memory T cells are critically important to generate in vaccines, we have ongoing studies on infant immunity, to investigate how protective responses can be established in babies who are most susceptible to infection and immune pathologies. These infant studies involve both mouse models and also sampling of site-specific responses in human infants intubated due to virus infection in collaboration with clinicians in the Pediatric Critical care Division at Morgan Stanley/NYP.

Departments and Divisions

  • Department of Surgery
  • Department of Microbiology & Immunology

Education & Training

  • BS, Microbiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • PhD, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University Of California
  • Fellowship: Pasteur Institute (Institut Pasteur)
  • Fellowship: Yale University School of Medicine

Centers / Institutes / Programs

  • Columbia Center for Translational Immunology (CCTI)
  • Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center

Lab Locations

  • William Black Building

    650 West 168th Street
    Office 1701G; Lab 1705
    New York, NY 10032
    Phone:
    (212) 305-6030
    Lab Phone:
    (212) 342-0599
    Email:
    df2396@cumc.columbia.edu

Contact Info

Past Positions

1996-2000, Assistant Professor
Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics
University of Maryland, College Park

2000-2003, Assistant Professor
Department of Surgery
University of Maryland School of Medicine

2003-2008, Associate Professor with Tenure
Department of Surgery
University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

2008-2010, Professor with Tenure
Department of Surgery: Primary appointment
Department of Microbiology and Immunology: Secondary appointment
University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

Patents

“ ZAP-70 as a predictor and modulator of T cell Effector Function "
US Patent No. 8,450,053
Date of Patent: May 28. 2013

Committees / Societies / Memberships

American Association of Immunologists

American Soceity of Transplantation

Clinical Immunology Society

Regular Member, NIH study section: Allergy, Immunology, and
Transplantation Research Committee (AITRC)

Elected member, Publications committee, American Association of Immunologists

NIH Grants

  • HUMAN ANTI-VIRAL IMMUNE RESPONSES IN TISSUES AND CIRCULATION (Federal Gov)

    Jan 1 2017 - Dec 31 2021

    MECHANISMS OF ANESTHETIC EFFECTS ON TACHYKININ INDUCED AIRWAY TONE (Federal Gov)

    Sep 20 2015 - Aug 31 2019

    ROLE OF TISSUE RESIDENT MEMORY T CELLS IN BOTH ACUTE AND CHRONIC REJECTION FOLLOWING LUNG TRANSPLANTATION (Private)

    Jul 1 2018 - Jun 30 2019

    CANCER CENTER SUPPORT GRANT (Federal Gov)

    Jul 1 2014 - Jun 30 2019

    LUNG RESIDENT NICHES FOR MEMORY CD4 T CELLS (Federal Gov)

    Dec 15 2014 - Nov 30 2018

    DEVELOPMENT OF LUNG T CELL RESPONSES IN INFANT RESPIRATORY IMMUNITY (Federal Gov)

    Aug 1 2017 - Jul 31 2018

    TISSUE COMPARTMENTALIZATION OF HUMAN LYMPHOCYTES (Federal Gov)

    Jun 1 2013 - May 31 2018

    OBESITY, INFLAMMATION AND LUNG INJURY AFTER LUNG TRANSPLANTATION (Federal Gov)

    May 23 2013 - Mar 31 2018

    THERAPEUTIC TARGETING OF INTRINSIC T CELL SUPPRESSION DURING ANTI-TUMOR IMMUNITY (Private)

    Jul 1 2015 - Jun 30 2017

    TRANSLATIONAL AND NAIVE CD4 T CELLS AND B CELLS IN INFANT VACCINE RESPONSES (Federal Gov)

    Sep 1 2015 - Mar 31 2017

    LONGEVITY AND TURNOVER OF HUMAN NAIVE T CELLS IN LYMPHOID TISSUE (Federal Gov)

    Sep 16 2013 - Sep 15 2016

    A NOVEL MOUSE MODEL FOR IMMUNE-MEDIATED SKIN FIBROSIS IN SCLERODERMA (Federal Gov)

    Jul 1 2013 - Mar 31 2016

    A NOVEL MOUSE MODEL FOR IMMUNE-MEDIATED SKIN FIBROSIS (Private)

    Jul 1 2013 - Jun 30 2015

    RESIDENT AND RECUITED MEMORY CD3 T CELLS IN (Private)

    Jul 1 2012 - Jun 30 2015

    EQUIPMENT APPLICATION: CRYOSTAT ROLE OF RESPIRATORY INNATE LIKE LYMPHOCYTES/NUOCYTES DURING DIVERSE VIRAL INFECTIONS (Federal Gov)

    May 1 2013 - Apr 30 2014

    PROBING MECHANISMS FOR LUNG HOMING OF MEMORY CD4 T CELLS BY AN SHRNA SCREENING APPROACH (Federal Gov)

    Sep 1 2012 - Apr 30 2014

    SHAPING ANTIVIRAL IMMUNITY BY THE INFLAMMATORY,REGULATORY AND TISSUE ENVIRONMENT (Federal Gov)

    Jul 1 2010 - Apr 30 2014

    MUCOSAL MEMORY T CELLS AT THE VANGUARD OF HUMAN HOST DEFENSE (Federal Gov)

    Sep 27 2010 - Aug 31 2012

    SHAPING ANTIVIRAL IMMUNITY BY THE INFLAMMATOR, REGULARTORY A ND ISSUE ENVIRONMENT (Federal Gov)

    May 1 2011 - Jul 31 2012

    SHAPING ANTIVIRAL IMMUNITY BY THE INFLAMMATORY, REGULATORY A ND ISSUE ENVIRONMENT (Federal Gov)

    May 1 2011 - Jul 31 2012

    NEW MODEL TO HELP INVESTIGATE FACTORS THAT SHAPE ANTIVIRAL I MMUNITY (Federal Gov)

    Aug 1 2010 - Jul 31 2012

    GENERATION AND REGULATION OF ISLET-REACTIVE MEMORY CD4 T CEL LS IN T CELLS IN T 1D (Private)

    Jul 1 2010 - Feb 28 2012

    COMPARTMENTALIZATION OF ANT-VIRAL CD4 T CELL MEMORY (Federal Gov)

    Aug 1 2010 - Jul 31 2011

Lab Members

  • Thomas Connors, M.D., Associate Research Scientist
  • Jun-Kui Chen, Graduate Student
  • Filip Cvetkovski, Graduate Student
  • Dustin Carpenter, Postdoctoral Surgeon Fellow
  • Tomer Granot, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Associate
  • Brahma Kumar , MD/PhD student
  • Claire Gordon, MBBS, FRACP, Instructor of Medicine
  • Michelle Miron, Graduate Student
  • Daniel Paik, MD/PhD student
  • Joseph Thome, Graduate Student
  • Takashi Senda, Associate Research Scientist
  • Kyra Zens, M.S., Graduate Student

Publications

Teijaro, J.R., Turner, D., Nam, Q., Wherry, E.J., LeFrançois, L. and Farber, D.L. (2011) Cutting Edge: Tissue-retentive lung memory CD4 T cells mediate optimal protective responses to influenza. J. Immunol. 187:5510-14.

Sathaliyawala, T., Kubota, M., Yudanin, N., Turner, D., Camp, P., Thome, J.C., Bickham, K.L., Lerner, H., Goldstein, M., Sykes, M., Kato, T and Farber, D.L. (2013) Distribution and compartmentalization of human circulating and tissue-resident memory T cells. Immunity. 38: 187-197. (Also see preview article in same issue by Neuenhahn and Busch, D.H., “Whole body anatomy of human T cells”. Immunity. 38:10-12.)

Turner, D.L., Bickham, K.L., Farber, D.L. and Lefrancois, L. (2013) Splenic priming of virus-specific CD8 T cells following influenza infection. J. Virol. 87:4496-506. Turner, D.L., Bickham, K.L., Thome, J.J.T., Kim, C., D’Ovidio, F., Wherry, E.J. and Farber, D.L. (2014) Lung resident niches for the generation and maintenance of influenza-specific memory T cells. Mucosal Immunology. 7:501-10.

Farber, D.L. , Yudanin, N.A. and Restifio, N.P. (2014) Human Memory T cells: generation, compartmentalization and homeostasis. Nature Reviews Immunology.14:24-35. (featured on cover) PMCID:PMC4032067

Turner, D.L., Gordon, C.L. and Farber, D.L. (2014) Tissue resident T cells, in situ immunity and transplantation. Immunol. Reviews. 258:150-166. Zens, K.D. and Farber, D.L. (2015) Memory CD4 T cell responses to influenza virus. Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology. 386:399-421.

Turner, D.L. and Farber, D.L. (2014) Mucosal resident memory CD4 T cells in protection and immunopathology. Front. Immunol. 5:331 Free article

Thome, J.J.C., Yudanin, N.A., Ohmura, Y., Kubota, M., Grinshpun, B., Sathaliyawala, T., Kato, T., Lerner, H., Shen, Y. and Farber, D.L. (2014) Spatial map of human T cell compartmentalization and maintenance over decades of life. Cell. 159:814-28. PMCID:PMC4243051

Brestoff,J.R., Kim,B.S., Saenz,S.A., Stine,R.R., Monticelli,L.A., Sonnenberg,G.A., Thome,J.J.T., Farber,D.L., Lutfy,K., Seale, P., and Artis, D. (2015) Group 2 innate lymphoid cells promote beiging of white adipose tissue and limit diet-induced obesity. Nature, 519:242-6. PMCID:PMC4447235

Thome, J.J.C. and Farber, D.L. (2015) Emerging concepts in tissue-resident T cells: lessons from humans. Trends. Immunol. 36:428-35. PMCID:PMC4491028

Yu, M., Owens, D.M., Ghosh, S. and Farber, D.L. (2015) Conditional PDK1 ablation promotes epidermal and T cell-mediated dysfunctions leading to inflammatory skin disease. J. Invest. Derm. 135: 2688-96. PMCID:PMC4640961

Thome, J.J.C., Bickham, K.L., Kubota, M. Ohmura, Y., Matsuoka, N., Gordon, C., Granot, T., Griesemer, A., Lerner, H., Kato, T., and Farber, D.L. (2015) Compartmentalization of infant T-cell differentiation and regulation in human tissues. Nature Medicine. In Press.

For a complete list of publications, please visit PubMed.gov