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Jonathan W. Yewdell, M.D., Ph.D.
Jack R. Bennink, Ph.D.

Photo of Jonathan W. Yewdell, M.D., Ph.D. and Jack R. Bennink, Ph.D. 

Cellular Biology and Viral Immunology Sections
Laboratory of Viral Diseases

Major Areas of Research

  • Generation of MHC class I peptide ligands from DRiPs and other endogenous antigens
  • Cell biology of compartmentalized translation and influenza A virus glycoprotein biogenesis
  • Defining mechanisms that contribute to the evolution of influenza A virus and antigenic drift in the influenza A virus glycoproteins
  • Understanding antibody responses to influenza A virus
  • Real-time imaging of virus-host interactions using multiphoton microscopy

Program Description

Viruses pose a constant danger to living organisms. An astounding variety of viruses are recognized as human pathogens. The roster lengthens as humans come into more intimate contact with animal reservoirs harboring novel viruses and new technologies reveal human viruses that have previously escaped detection.

The vertebrate immune system evolved in response to the threat posed by viruses. The importance of the immune system in protecting against lethal viral infections becomes obvious in innate or acquired immunodeficiencies, where depression of one or more elements of the system results in death from a typically “self-limited” viral infection, or in the success of vaccines in preventing dangerous viral infections. The immune system (like every biological system) is not perfect, and overzealous anti-viral responses frequently contribute to viral diseases.

The mission of our laboratory is to extend basic understanding of the interaction between the immune system and viruses using mouse infection models.


Dr. Bennink obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania for the study of the specificity of virus immune effector T cells. He spent two years as a member of the Basel Institute for Immunology, followed by five years as assistant and associate professor at the Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology, before coming to the Laboratory of Viral Diseases in 1987. His research focuses on influenza virus and antigen processing and presentation to class I restricted antiviral T cells.


Dr. Yewdell received an A.B. in biochemistry magna cum laude from Princeton University in 1975, working with Dr. Arnold Levine for his undergraduate thesis on immune recognition of virus-transformed cells. He received an M.D. and a Ph.D. in immunology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1981, working with Dr. Walter Gerhard on the mapping of influenza hemagglutinin epitopes using monoclonal antibodies. As a postdoctoral fellow, he worked with Dr. David Lane at the Imperial College in London, studying the newly discovered p53 protein. From 1983 to 1987, he was an assistant professor at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia. In 1987, Dr. Yewdell joined the Laboratory of Viral Diseases and in 1993 was appointed to lead its Cellular Biology Section.

Research Group

Lab Members

Meghan O’Donoghue Altman, Ph.D., Davide Angeletti, Ph.D., Christopher Brooke, Ph.D., Stephanie Cush, Ph.D., Mariana Pavon Eternod, Ph.D., William Ince, Ph.D., Ph.D., Barbara Ngudiankama, Ph.D, Mina Seedhom, Ph.D., Jiajie Wei, Ph.D., Lauren Gentles, and Ning Yang, Ph.D.

Research Staff

James Gibbs, Ph.D., Heather Hickman, Ph.D., Javier Magadan, Ph.D., Glennys Reynoso

Selected Publications

Magadán JG, Altman MO, Ince WL, Hickman HD, Stevens J, Chevalier A, Baker D, Wilson PC, Ahmed R, Bennink JR, Yewdell JW. Biogenesis of influenza A virus hemagglutinin cross-protective stem epitopes. PLoS Pathog. In press.

Das SR, Hensley SE, Ince WL, Brooke CB, Subba A, Delboy MG, Russ G, Gibbs JS, Bennink JR, Yewdell JW. Defining influenza A virus hemagglutinin antigenic drift by sequential monoclonal antibody selection. Cell Host Microbe. 2013 Mar 13;13(3):314-23.

Hickman HD, Reynoso GV, Ngudiankama BF, Rubin EJ, Magadán JG, Cush SS, Gibbs J, Molon B, Bronte V, Bennink JR, Yewdell JW. Anatomically restricted synergistic antiviral activities of innate and adaptive immune cells in the skin. Cell Host Microbe. 2013 Feb 13;13(2):155-68.

Brooke CB, Ince WL, Wrammert J, Ahmed R, Wilson PC, Bennink JR, Yewdell JW. Most influenza a virions fail to express at least one essential viral protein. J Virol. 2013 Mar;87(6):3155-62.

Ince WL, Gueye-Mbaye A, Bennink JR, Yewdell JW. Reassortment complements spontaneous mutation in influenza A virus NP and M1 genes to accelerate adaptation to a new host. J Virol. 2013 Apr;87(8):4330-8

Lu X, Gibbs JS, Hickman HD, David A, Dolan BP, Jin Y, Kranz DM, Bennink JR, Yewdell JW, Varma R. Endogenous viral antigen processing generates peptide-specific MHC class I cell-surface clusters. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Sep 18;109(38):15407-12.

Visit PubMed for a complete publication listing.

Last Updated June 14, 2014