Keynote Speakers

Jenny Ting, Ph.D.

William R Kenan Jr. Distinguish Professor of Genetics, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Title: Innate immune receptors in the innate and adaptive immune systems

Jenny Ting is a molecular immunologist who is distinguished by the breadth of her research that includes innate immunity, autoimmunity, neuroinflammation, cancer immunology, infectious diseases, and the microbiota. Her group performed pioneering work in the discovery of MHC-II expressing brain glial cells and the importance of TNF family members in neuroinflammation and repair. She is the first to define human MHC-II promoters and performed seminal studies with the master MHC-II transactivator, CIITA.  Based on the structure of CIITA, her group first discovered the human NLR gene family and uncovered their roles in innate immunity, transcriptional activation, cytokine production, programmed cell death and microbiota composition. More recently, her group has discovered important roles of multiple innate immune receptors in T cells and B cells in cancer, autoimmunity and infectious diseases.  She has published over 350 papers and has been continuously listed as a Thomas Reuters/Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher. She has trained over 100 postdoctoral fellows/physician scientists/pre-doctoral students. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Academia Sinica.

Jason Cyster, Ph.D.

Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, University of California, San Francisco

Title:  Deciphering the guidance cue code for B cell immunity

Dr. Cyster is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Professor and Vice-Chair in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of California, San Francisco. He graduated from the University of Western Australia with a BSc Honors degree in Biochemistry and Microbiology and completed a DPhil (or PhD) in Immunology at the University of Oxford in the laboratory of Alan Williams. He was a postdoctoral fellow in immunology at Stanford University with Christopher Goodnow and he joined the faculty at UCSF in 1995. Dr. Cyster is internationally recognized for defining how lymphoid microenvironments are organized to support adaptive immunity. His lab played a key role in the discovery of lymphoid tissue chemokines and established the concept that chemokines continuously guide cells to supportive niches. Dr. Cyster’s group led the way in defining how cells exit from lymphoid organs, a process essential for immune function. His team established the egress-promoting role of sphingosine-1-phosphate and identified the mechanism of action of key egress regulators. He has been a leader in applying two-photon microscopy to unraveling antigen-encounter and immune cell migration dynamics. He received the 2005 AAI BD Biosciences Investigator Award in Recognition of Outstanding Contributions in Immunology and the 2018 AAI Biolegend Herzenberg Award for outstanding contributions in B cell biology. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2014 and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2018.

David Masopust, Ph.D.

Distinguished McKnight University Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Minnesota

Title: Memory CD8 T Cells: Quantity, Quality, & Location

The Masopust lab makes discoveries related to T cell immune surveillance strategies, differentiation, and memory. Current areas of focus include T cell migration and residence, longevity, vaccine development, and cancer immunotherapy.