Immunology Faculty Member - Terry Means, PhD

Terry Means, PhD

Massachusetts General Hospital
Center for Immunology and Inflammatory Diseases
Division of Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology
Building 149, 13th Street, Room 8407
Charlestown, MA 02129
Tel: 617-726-6497
Fax: 617-726-5651
Lab Members: 3 Postdoctoral Fellows

The Means Laboratory combines molecular biology, cellular biology, and genetics to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms of inflammation and host defense. The overall goal of our laboratory is to understand the role of pathogen-sensing by the innate immune system. Research to date has focused on the role that Toll-like Receptors (TLRs) and Scavenger Receptors play in the innate immune response to a myriad of microbial pathogens. We have previously shown that macrophages and dendritic cells express unique gene expression signatures, including distinct cytokine and chemokine expression, in response to different danger signals. We are using knockout mice and RNAi to dissect the regulation of these pathways and how they induce protective immunity to infections. Another research focus in the lab is the study of TLR7/TLR9-mediated immune system activation in system lupus erythematosus. We have found that RNA/DNA containing immune complexes found in the serum of active human lupus patients activates immune cells. We are currently studying the innate sensors and pathways that regulate SLE immune complex recognition and what role they play in the pathogenesis of lupus and other autoimmune diseases.

Last Update: 7/22/2014


Colvin RA, Means TK, Diefenbach TJ, Moita LF, Friday RP, Sever S, Campanella GSV, Abrazinski T, Manice LA, Moita C, Andrews NW, Wu D, Hacohen N, Luster AD. Synaptotagmin-mediated vesicle fusion regulates cell migration. Nature Immunology. 2010; 11(6): 495-502.

Means TK, Luster AD. Integrins Limit the Toll. Nat Immunology. 2010; 11(8): 691-693.

Means TK. Fungal pathogen recognition by scavenger receptors in nematodes and mammals. Virulence 2010:1(1): 1-5.

Means TK, Mylonakis E, Tampakakis E, Colvin RA, Seung E, Puckett L, Tai MF, Stewart CR, Pukkila-Worley R, Hickman SE, Moore KJ, Calderwood SB, Hacohen N, Luster AD, El Khoury J. Evolutionarily conserved recognition and innate immunity to fungal pathogens by the scavenger receptors SCARF1 and CD36. The Journal of Experimental Medicine 2009; 206(3): 637-53.

Means TK, Latz E, Hayashi F, Murali MR, Golenbock DT, Luster AD. Human Lupus Autoantibody-DNA complexes activate dendritic cells through cooperation of CD32 and TLR9. Journal of Clinical Investigation 2005; 115: 407-17.

© 2016 President and Fellows
of Harvard College