Immunology Faculty Member - Diane Mathis, PhD

Diane Mathis, PhD

Division of Immunology, Dept. of Microbiology & Immunobiology
Harvard Medical School
77 Ave. Louis Pasteur
Boston, MA 02115
Tel: 617-432-7742
Fax: 617-432-7744
Visit my lab page here.

Our lab works in the broad fields of T cell differentiation and tolerance/autoimmunity, translating mechanistic studies on mouse models to normal and diseased humans. Studies on T cell differentiation focus on maturation and selection of the T cell repertoire in the thymus, and on cellular and molecular influences on the “flavor” of T cell responses in the periphery. Studies on autoimmunity explore the immunological mechanisms of type-1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and APECED, in particular central and peripheral mechanisms of T cell tolerance. Major questions tackled are what initiates these diseases, how is their progression regulated, what are the final effector mechanisms, and how do genetic and environmental factors impact disease unfolding. Current foci include: the Aire transcriptional regulatory molecule, Foxp3-expressing Treg cells, immunometabolism and gut microbiota. The application of computational and bioinformatic strategies to these and other issues is one of the lab’s particular strengths. Lastly, we have been engaged in a long-term collaborative effort to develop and apply novel whole-mouse and intravital imaging strategies to immunological problems, especially as concerns mechanisms of autoimmunity.

Last Update: 6/16/2016


Cipolletta D, Feuerer M, Li A, Kamei N, Lee J, Shoelson SE, Benoist C and Mathis D. PPAR-gamma is a major driver of the accumulation and phenotype of adipose tissue Treg cells. Nature 2012; 486:549-53.

Burzyn D, Kuswanto W, Kolodin D, Shadrach JL, Cerletti M, Jang Y, Sefik E, Tan TG, Wagers AJ, Benoist C and Mathis D. A special population of regulatory T cells potentiates muscle regeneration. Cell 2013; 155:1282-95.

Fu W, Farache J,  Clardy SM, Hattori K,  Mander P, Lee K, Rioja I, Weissleder R, Prinjha RK, Benoist C and Mathis D. Epigenetic modulation of type-1 diabetes via a dual effect  on pancreatic macrophages and β cells. 2014 eLife; 10.7554/eLife.04631.

Yang S, Fujikado N, Kolodin D, Benoist C and Mathis D. Regulatory T cells generated early in life play a distinct role in maintaining self-tolerance. Science 2015; 348:589-594.

Kuswanto W, Burzyn D, Panduro M, Wang KK, Jang YC, Wagers AJ, Benoist C, and Mathis D. Poor repair of skeletal muscle in aging mice reflects a defect in local, interleukin-33-dependent, accumulation of regulatory T cells.  Immunity 2016; 44:355-367

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of Harvard College