New Bolton Center Kennett Square, PA
Emergencies & Appointments:
Ryan Hospital Philadelphia, PA


Mindy Halikman Heyer Distinguished Professor of Pathobiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine

Penn Institute for Immunology, Penn Institute for Immunology

Research Areas: Infectious Disease, Toxoplasma gondii, Zoonotic diseases, Host-pathogen interactions, Immunology, Parasites, Parasitology, Transgenic parasites, Inflammatory responses,
PubMed Link
Contact Information:
310F Hill Pavilion
380 S. University Avenue

The Hunter laboratory has several areas of research that center around understanding how the immune system deals with T. gondii. The first focuses on host pathogen interactions at the cellular level and how the parasite interacts with intracellular signaling pathways (NF-kB/JAK-STAT). In collaboration with the Roos laboratory, genetic approaches are being used to identify parasite factors that are involved in these events. This is part of work in progress which has used transgenic parasites to address fundamental questions about which cells are important in the initiation of adaptive immunity and the role of cross-presentation in the development of T cell responses. These latter studies compliment the work in the laboratory that has helped to define the cytokine networks that regulate the balance between protective and pathological immune responses and current studies focus on the IL-6 family of cytokines in these events. Lastly the laboratory is interested in better understanding the pathogenesis of toxoplasmic encephalitis (TE) in the immunocompromised patients who develop this disease. This work has also led the laboratory to try and apply what we have learned in TE to better understand the neuro-pathogenesis of African sleeping sickness.

Passos, S. T., Silver, J. S., O’Hara, A., Sehy, D., Stumhofer, J. S., and Hunter, C. A. IL-6 promotes NK cell production of IL-17 during toxoplasmosis Journal Immunology 184: 1776-1783, 2010.

Jordan, K. A., Wilson, E. H., Tait, E. D., Fox, B. A., Roos, D. S., Bzik, D. J., Dzierszinski, F., and Hunter, C. A. Kinetics and phenotype of vaccine-induced CD8+ T-cell responses to Toxoplasma gondii. Infect Immun 77: 3894-3901, 2009.

Oldenhove, G., Bouladoux, N., Wohlfert, E. A., Hall, J. A., Chou, D., Dos Santos, L., O'Brien, S., Blank, R., Lamb, E., Natarajan, S Kastenmayer, R., Hunter, C., Grigg, M. E., Belkaid, Y Decrease of Foxp3+ Treg cell number and acquisition of effector cell phenotype during lethal infection. Immunity 31: 772-786, 2009.

Wilson, E. H., T. H. Harris, P. Mrass, B. John, E. D. 5. Tait, G. F. Wu, M. Pepper, E. J. Wherry, F. Dzierzinski, D. Roos, P. G. Haydon, T. M. Laufer, W. Weninger, and C. A. Hunter. Behavior of parasite-specific effector CD8+ T cells in the brain and visualization of a kinesis-associated system of reticular fibers. Immunity 30: 300-311, 2009.

John, B., Harris, T., Tait, E., Wilson, E.H., Ng, L., Mrass, P., Dzierszinski, F., Weninger, W., Hunter, C.A Dynamic imaging of CD8+ T cells and dendritic cells during infection with Toxoplasma gondii. Plos Pathogens 5: , 2009.

Anderson, C.F., Stumhofer, J., Hunter, C.A., and Sacks, D. IL-27 regulates IL-10 and IL-17 from CD4+ cells in non-healing Leishmania major infection Journal Immunology 183: 4619-4627, 2008.

Dzierszinski, F., Pepper, M., La Rosa, D., Wilson, E., Bzik, D., Turka, L., Hunter, CA. and Roos, D. Antigen presentation through MHC class I occurs via the endogenous pathway in non-hematopoietic cells and professional phagocytes infected with Toxoplasma gondii Infection Immunity 75: 5200-9, 2007.

Stumhofer, J.S., J.S. Silver, A. Laurence, P.M. Porrett, T.H. Harris, L.A. Turka, M. Ernst, C.J. Saris, J.J. O'Shea, and C.A. Hunter. Interleukins 27 and 6 induce STAT3-mediated T cell production of interleukin 10 Nat Immunol : 1363-1371, 2007.

Kastelein, Robert A. Hunter, Christopher A. Cua, Daniel J. Discovery and biology of IL-23 and IL-27: related but functionally distinct regulators of inflammation. [Review] [86 refs] Annual Review of Immunology 25: 221-42, 2007.

Villarino, Alejandro V. Tato, Cristina M. Stumhofer, Jason S. Yao, Zhengju. Cui, Yongzhi K. Hennighausen, Lothar. O'Shea, John J. Hunter, Christopher A. Helper T cell IL-2 production is limited by negative feedback and STAT-dependent cytokine signals. Journal of Experimental Medicine 204: 65-71, 2007.

Masek, Katherine S. Fiore, Jim. Leitges, Michael. Yan, Shi-Fang. Freedman, Bruce D. Hunter, Christopher A. Host cell Ca2+ and protein kinase C regulate innate recognition of Toxoplasma gondii. Journal of Cell Science 119: 4565-73, 2006.

Stumhofer, Jason S. Laurence, Arian. Wilson, Emma H. Huang, Elaine. Tato, Cristina M. Johnson, Leanne M. Villarino, Alejandro V. Huang, Qiulong. Yoshimura, Akihiko. Sehy, David. Saris, Christiaan J M. O'Shea, John J. Hennighausen, Lothar. Ernst, Matthias. Hunter, Christopher A. Interleukin 27 negatively regulates the development of interleukin 17-producing T helper cells during chronic inflammation of the central nervous system.[see comment]. Nature Immunology 7: 937-45, 2006.

Wilson, Emma H. Zaph, Colby. Mohrs, Markus. Welcher, Andy. Siu, Jerry. Artis, David. Hunter, Christopher A. B7RP-1-ICOS interactions are required for optimal infection-induced expansion of CD4+ Th1 and Th2 responses. Journal of Immunology 177: 2365-72, 2006.

Hirons, Linda. Gardiner, Eleanor J. Hunter, Christopher A. Willett, Peter. Structural DNA profiles: single sequence queries. Journal of Chemical Information & Modeling 46: 743-52, 2006.

Villarino, Alejandro V. Stumhofer, Jason S. Saris, Christiaan J M. Kastelein, Robert A. de Sauvage, Frederic J. Hunter, Christopher A. IL-27 limits IL-2 production during Th1 differentiation. Journal of Immunology 176: 237-47, 2006.

Shapira, Sagi. Harb, Omar S. Margarit, Juan. Matrajt, Mariana. Han, Jerry. Hoffmann, Alexander. Freedman, Bruce. May, Michael J. Roos, David S. Hunter, Christopher A. Initiation and termination of NF-kappaB signaling by the intracellular protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Journal of Cell Science 118: 3501-8, 2005.

Pepper, Marion. Dzierszinski, Florence. Crawford, Amy. Hunter, Christopher A. Roos, David. Development of a system to study CD4+-T-cell responses to transgenic ovalbumin-expressing Toxoplasma gondii during toxoplasmosis. Infection & Immunity 72: 7240-6, 2004.

Villarino, Alejandro. Hibbert, Linda. Lieberman, Linda. Wilson, Emma. Mak, Tak. Yoshida, Hiroki. Kastelein, Robert A. Saris, Christiaan. Hunter, Christopher A. The IL-27R (WSX-1) is required to suppress T cell hyperactivity during infection.[see comment]. Immunity 19: 645-55, 2003.

Tato, C.M., G. Martins, F.A. High, K. DiCoco, S.L. Reiner and C.A. Hunter Cutting Edge: Early production of IFN-? by NK cells is independent of epigenetic modification of the IFN-? promoter Journal Immunology : 1514-1518, 2003.

B.Sc (Zoology, specializing in Parasitology) University of Glasgow, 1985

Ph.D. University of Glasgow, 1989

Department of Veterinary Medicine and Department of Neurology, University of Glasgow (1989 to 1992)
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Stanford University School of Medicine, Department of Immunology and Infectious Disease Research Institute, Palo Alto Medical Foundation (1992 to 1994)
Research Fellow