Marc Jenkins is an immunologist who studies CD4+ T lymphocytes. He is known for his work on the signals that these cells need to become activated by antigens, where in the body activation occurs, and how activation results in immune memory. Jenkins was born and raised in Minnesota. He received a BS degree in microbiology from the University of Minnesota in 1980 and a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from Northwestern University in 1985. He was a postdoctoral fellow in the Laboratory of Immunology at the National Institutes of Health before joining the faculty at the University of Minnesota where he is now a Regents Professor. He is a past president of the American Association of Immunologists and a recipient of the Mentoring and Lifetime Achievement Awards from that organization.

Research Interests

Marc Jenkins' laboratory is interested in the consequences of antigen recognition by CD4+ T cells. His group is working to understand how the small number of CD4+ T cells that are specific for antigens from any given microbe or self-tissue participate in immune responses that are beneficial (infection control) or detrimental (autoimmunity) to the host. They are interested in the anatomy of CD4+ T cell activation, in particular how CD4+ T cells help B cells undergo affinity maturation in germinal centers and control macrophage infections in granulomas. They are also interested in fundamental questions such as how do B cell- and macrophage-helping CD4+ T cells form at the same time and why do only a small subset the proliferating progeny of antigen-specific CD4+ T cells that are responding to an infection survive to become memory cells.

Membership Type


Election Year


Primary Section

Section 43: Immunology and Inflammation