Robert L. Coffman

Dynavax Technologies

Election Year: 2006
Primary Section: 43, Immunology and Inflammation
Secondary Section: 41, Medical Genetics, Hematology, and Oncology
Membership Type: Member

Research Interests

I have spent most of my research career studying basic mechanisms of regulation of immune response. In particular, I have been interested in how different classes of both B and T lymphocyte responses to foreign antigens are controlled. In many cases, the class of an immune response will determine whether it protects from and infectious or allergic disease, or causes it. More recently I have focused on the innate immune system, an evolutionarily ancient system of recognition and response to conserved microbial molecules that provides a rapid "front line" of defense against pathogens. Cells and molecules of this innate response provide many key regulatory signals determining the class of subsequent adaptive T and B lymphocyte responses. I have been particularly interested in manipulating the link between innate and adaptive immunity to treat immunological diseases and to develop more effective vaccines. My current research is focused on preclinical and clinical development of molecules that either stimulate or inhibit specific arms of the innate immune system, with particular interest in developing new therapies for allergic and autoimmune diseases.

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