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Alan Aderem, PhD

  • Affiliate Professor, Departments of Medicine and Immunology
    University of Washington

  • President Emeritus and Professor, Center for Infectious Disease Research

Dr. Aderem received his Ph.D. in 1979 from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He joined the faculty of The Rockefeller University in 1982, and in 1991 was appointed head of the University's Laboratory of Signal Transduction. He joined the Department of Immunology at the University of Washington in 1996. In 2000, Dr. Aderem co-founded the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) with Drs. Leroy Hood and Ruedi Aebersold. In 2011, Aderem joined Seattle Biomedical Research Institute (Seattle BioMed) as Director, and became President of Seattle BioMed in 2012. Working alongside Seattle BioMed's Founder and President Emeritus, Dr. Ken Stuart, Dr. Aderem is integrating a Systems Biology approach to Seattle BioMed's global infectious disease research, positioning Seattle BioMed as the only institute in the world with infectious disease research and Systems Biology fully integrated in one building.

Dr. Aderem is an internationally recognized immunologist and cell biologist who has studied the interface between the innate and adaptive immune system for nearly 30 years. His research focus is on the innate immune system: how it recognizes and formulates responses to infectious agents, and how it instructs the adaptive immune system to provide long-lived immunity to the pathogen. His initial studies defined how pattern recognition receptors, in particular the Toll-like receptors, identify bacteria and viruses - in essence, how the immune cell reads the molecular barcode of the infectious agent and precisely defines the nature of the threat. This recognition triggers a specific, highly-regulated response to the pathogen by the host. A deeper understanding of these host-pathogen interactions will, in turn, be the basis for developing predictive models of immune and inflammatory responses.

A pioneer in the field of Systems Biology, Dr. Aderem is applying these tools to the study of diseases that significantly impact global health, with an emphasis on the role of the innate immune system in vaccine responses. His group is focused on deciphering the role played by the innate immune response to HIV and malaria vaccines on the subsequent development of protective immunity. In addition, Dr. Aderem's lab is studying the host response to the influenza virus, focusing on identifying mechanisms by which highly-pathogenic viruses can evade and often dysregulate the innate immune system. Finally, the Aderem Lab has an active tuberculosis program, which evolved out of the well-known observation that some patients exhibit acute disease, while others live with latent, asymptomatic disease for years. Dr. Aderem's program seeks to identify gene expression signatures that correlate with these differing disease progressions.

Current trainees are involved in all aspects of the lab's research. Dr. Aderem collaborates with Dr. Hawn, Samuel Miller, and Bill Noble.

Selected Publications

Flo TH, Smith KD, Sato S, Rodriguez DJ, Holmes MA, Strong RK, Akira S, Aderem A. Lipocalin 2 mediates a novel innate immune response to bacterial infection by sequestrating iron. Nature. 2004; 432(7019): 917-21.
PubMed Abstract

Hawn TR, Verbon A, Janer M, Zhao LP, Beutler B, Aderem A. Toll-like receptor 4 polymorphisms are associated with resistance to Legionnaires' disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005; 102(7): 2487-9.
PubMed Abstract

Gilchrist M, Thorsson V, Li B, Rust AG, Korb M, Kennedy K, Hai T, Bolouri H, Aderem A. Systems biology approaches identify ATF3 as a negative regulator of Toll-like receptor 4. Nature. 2006; 441: 173-8.
Nature Abstract

Miao EA, Alpuche-Aranda CM, Dors M, Clark AE, Bader MW, Miller SI, Aderem A. Cytoplasmic flagellin activates caspase-1 and secretion of interleukin 1β via Ipaf. Nat Immunol. 2006; 7: 569-75.
Nature Immunology Abstract

Andersen-Nissen E, Smith KD, Bonneau R, Strong RK, Aderem A. A conserved surface on Toll-like receptor 5 recognized bacterial flagellin. J Exp Med. 2007; 204(2): 393-403.
PubMed Abstract

Gilchrist M, Henderson WR Jr, Clark AE, Simmons RM, Ye X, Smith KD, Aderem A. Activating transcription factor 3 is a negative regulator of allergic pulmonary inflammation. J Exp Med. 2008; 205(10): 2349-57.
PubMed Abstract

Litvak V, Ramsey SA, Rust AG, Zak DE, Kennedy KA, Lampano AE, Nykter M, Shmulevich I, Aderem A. Function of C/EBPdelta in a regulatory circuit that discriminates between transient and persistent TLR4-induced signals. Nat Immunol. 2009; 10(4): 437-43.
PubMed Abstract

Zak DE, Aderem A. A systems view of host defense. Nat Biotechnol. 2009; 27(11): 999-1001.
Nature Biotechnology Abstract

Miao EA, Leaf IA, Treuting PM, Mao DP, Dors M, Sarkar A, Warren SE, Wewers MD, Aderem A. Caspase-1-induced pyroptosis is an innate immune effector mechanism against intracellular bacteria. Nat Immunol. 2010; 11(12): 1136-42.
PubMed Abstract

Aderem A. Fast track to vaccines: How systems biology speeds drug development. Scientific American. 2011; 304: 5.
Scientific American Preview

Rappuoli R, Aderem A. 2011. A 2020 vision for vaccines against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. Nature. 2011; 473(7348): 463-9.
PubMed Abstract

Zak DE, Schmitz F, Gold ES, Diercks AH, Peschon JJ, Valvo JS, Niemistö A, Podolsky I, Fallen SG, Suen R, Stolyar T, Johnson CD, Kennedy KA, Hamilton MK, Siggs OM, Beutler B, Aderem A. Systems analysis identifies an essential role for SHANK-associated RH domain-interacting protein (SHARPIN) in macrophage Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) responses. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011; 108(28): 11536-41.
PubMed Abstract

Nakaya HI, Wrammert J, Lee EK, Racioppi L, Marie-Kunze S, Haining WN, Means AR, Kasturi SP, Khan N, Li GM, McCausland M, Kanchan V, Kokko KE, Li S, Elbein R, Mehta AK, Aderem A, Subbarao K, Ahmed R, Pulendran B. Systems biology or vaccination for seasonal influenza in humans. Nat Immunol. 2011; 12(8): 786-95.
PubMed Abstract

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