Helene Fischer Rosenberg, M.D., Ph.D.

Senior Investigator

Inflammation Immunobiology Section


Building 50, Room 6241
50 South Drive
Bethesda, MD 20814



Research Topics

The Inflammation Immunobiology Section aims to explore the link between inflammation and infectious disease, specifically, the unique inflammatory sequelae elicited by respiratory virus pathogens. Our laboratory utilizes molecular, cellular, bioinformatics, and in vivo approaches to elucidate novel pathways and to gain insight into critical interactions.

As a major feature of these studies, our group developed the pneumonia virus of mice (PVM; family Paramyxoviridae) as a significant model of acute respiratory virus infection. In contrast to many human respiratory virus pathogens, PVM undergoes robust replication in the respiratory tracts of rodent species, and reproduces many clinical and pathologic features of severe human respiratory virus infection in inbred strains of mice. With this model, our group is pursuing studies aimed at elucidating novel inflammatory pathways and original immunomodulatory therapies, notably those featuring immunobiotic Lactobacillus species.

Related to these studies is our mainstay, the eosinophil, an enigmatic leukocyte whose role in innate immunity has recently undergone dramatic reconsideration. Eosinophils are best known for their contributions to the functional pathophysiology of allergic asthma; however, evolution tells us that the ability to induce pathology cannot be a raison d'ĂȘtre for any existing cell lineage. Several distinct lines of evidence have led us to consider the unrecognized beneficial impact provided by eosinophils in this setting, notably via their interactions with respiratory virus pathogens.


Dr. Rosenberg was awarded both M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at The Rockefeller University / Cornell University Medical College (1984, 1985). Following postdoctoral research at Harvard University, she joined the National Institutes of Health in 1991, was granted tenure in 1998, and became a Section Chief in 2002.

Selected Publications

  1. Ma M, Percopo CM, Sturdevant DE, Sek AC, Komarow HD, Rosenberg HF. Cytokine Diversity in Human Peripheral Blood Eosinophils: Profound Variability of IL-16. J Immunol. 2019;203(2):520-531.

  2. Sek AC, Moore IN, Smelkinson MG, Pak K, Minai M, Smith R, Ma M, Percopo CM, Rosenberg HF. Eosinophils Do Not Drive Acute Muscle Pathology in the mdx Mouse Model of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. J Immunol. 2019;203(2):476-484.

  3. Percopo CM, Ma M, Brenner TA, Krumholz JO, Break TJ, Laky K, Rosenberg HF. Critical Adverse Impact of IL-6 in Acute Pneumovirus Infection. J Immunol. 2019;202(3):871-882.

  4. Gabryszewski SJ, Bachar O, Dyer KD, Percopo CM, Killoran KE, Domachowske JB, Rosenberg HF. Lactobacillus-mediated priming of the respiratory mucosa protects against lethal pneumovirus infection. J Immunol. 2011;186(2):1151-61.

  5. Rosenberg HF, Dyer KD, Foster PS. Eosinophils: changing perspectives in health and disease. Nat Rev Immunol. 2013;13(1):9-22.

This page was last updated on August 5th, 2019