University of Dundee

" Decoding immune recognition"

Event Date: 
Thursday, March 8, 2018 - 13:00 to 14:00
Event Location: 
CTIR Sir Kenneth and Lady Noreen Murray Seminar Room
Dr. Ignacio Moraga Gonzalez
Event Speaker: 
Dr Michael Birnbaum
Event Type: 
Division of Cell Signalling and Immunology and Tayside Immunolog Group
All Welcome


The adaptive immune response relies upon immense molecular diversity to recognize and properly respond to cancer or infection. This diversity, while key to function, complicates the study of these systems.  To address this, my lab develops and leverages methods to harness molecular diversity to better understand and eventually manipulate the immunity in the context of cancer, infectious disease, and autoimmunity. Specifically, we are examining what antigens can be presented by MHC molecules, and how to better define and predict peptide-presented repertoires, and are identifying what T cells ‘see’ in a series of cancer immunotherapy paradigms.

 Michael obtained an A.B. in Chemical and Physical Biology at Harvard University in 2008. He then moved to Stanford University, where he completed his Ph.D. in Immunology in 2014. At Stanford, he worked in Professor K. Christopher Garcia’s laboratory, studying the molecular mechanisms of T cell receptor recognition, cross-reactivity, and activation. He then conducted postdoctoral research in Professor Carla Shatz’s laboratory, studying novel roles for immune receptors expressed by neurons in neural development and neurodegenerative disease. Michael joined the Department of Biological Engineering and the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT in 2016 as an Assistant Professor.