Alan Sher, Ph.D.
NIH Distinguished Investigator
Building 50, Room 6140
50 South Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892
The Immunobiology Section studies host resistance and immune regulation in parasitic and other infections of global importance. The ultimate goal of this work is immunologic disease intervention in the form of vaccination or immunotherapy. At the same time, our research on the host response to infection has provided insights into the effector functions and regulatory mechanisms used by the vertebrate immune system and in the role of innate pathogen recognition in these processes. Much of the work of the section is focused on the immunologic analysis in murine models of diseases induced by parasitic and bacterial agents (e.g., Toxoplasma gondii, Mycobacterium spp.), although the group is also engaged in several major clinical collaborations. The lab also has a major interest in the regulation of Th1-dependent immunopathology in T. gondii and mycobacterial infections as well as tuberculosis-HIV co-infection.
X-ray from a pulmonary tuberculosis patient presenting with paradoxical immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome two weeks after initiation of anti-retroviral therapy.
Dr. Sher received his Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego, and did his postdoctoral training in the Division of Parasitology at the National Institute for Medical Research in Mill Hill, London. In 1980, after several years as a research associate and then assistant professor in the department of pathology at Harvard Medical School, he joined NIAID as a section chief in the Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases. Sher became chief of LPD in 2003 and was promoted to NIH Distinguished Investigator in 2011.
- Bonazinga Award (Society for Leuckocyte Biology)
- Bailey K. Ashford Medal (The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene)
- U.S. PHS Superior Service Award
- NIH Director’s Mentoring Award
- Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology
- Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
- Brazilian Academy of Sciences
- The Journal of Experimental Medicine (Senior Editor)
- Faculty of 1000 (Section Head, Immunity to Infections)
- mBio (American Society of Microbiology Journal)
Costa DL, Namasivayam S, Amaral EP, Arora K, Chao A, Mittereder LR, Maiga M, Boshoff HI, Barry CE 3rd, Goulding CW, Andrade BB, Sher A. Pharmacological Inhibition of Host Heme Oxygenase-1 Suppresses Mycobacterium tuberculosis Infection In Vivo by a Mechanism Dependent on T Lymphocytes. MBio. 2016;7(5).
Iwamura C, Bouladoux N, Belkaid Y, Sher A, Jankovic D. Sensing of the microbiota by NOD1 in mesenchymal stromal cells regulates murine hematopoiesis. Blood. 2017;129(2):171-176.
Kugler DG, Flomerfelt FA, Costa DL, Laky K, Kamenyeva O, Mittelstadt PR, Gress RE, Rosshart SP, Rehermann B, Ashwell JD, Sher A, Jankovic D. Systemic toxoplasma infection triggers a long-term defect in the generation and function of naive T lymphocytes. J Exp Med. 2016;213(13):3041-3056.
Tosh KW, Mittereder L, Bonne-Annee S, Hieny S, Nutman TB, Singer SM, Sher A, Jankovic D. The IL-12 Response of Primary Human Dendritic Cells and Monocytes to Toxoplasma gondii Is Stimulated by Phagocytosis of Live Parasites Rather Than Host Cell Invasion. J Immunol. 2016;196(1):345-56.
Mayer-Barber KD, Andrade BB, Oland SD, Amaral EP, Barber DL, Gonzales J, Derrick SC, Shi R, Kumar NP, Wei W, Yuan X, Zhang G, Cai Y, Babu S, Catalfamo M, Salazar AM, Via LE, Barry CE 3rd, Sher A. Host-directed therapy of tuberculosis based on interleukin-1 and type I interferon crosstalk. Nature. 2014;511(7507):99-103.
Related Scientific Focus Areas
Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
This page was last updated on March 10th, 2017