Associate Professor David Masopust



University of Minnesota

Department of Microbiology

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA


Visit co-ordinated by Thomas Gebhardt

Seminars: "Memory CD8 T cells: Quantity, Quality and Location"

27 April 12pm, Centenary Institute, Sydney (Mainthan Palendira)

29 April 12pm, Finkel Lecture Theatre, John Curtin School of Medical Research, ANU, Canberra (Ian Parish)

4 May PDI, Melbourne (Thomas Gerbhardt)

6 May Malaghan Institute, Wellington, New Zealand (Lindsay Ancelet)


David Masopust helped to define a new paradigm in immunology with high impact for developing vaccines against important pathogens such as HIV-1 and TB: Tissue resident memory T cells, positioned in time and space, and sufficient in number, to prevent or control infections from their onset. Dr. Masopust’s initial discovery underpinning this concept was that memory T cells actively survey tissues and mucosal surfaces of the body where they are most likely to encounter pathogens. His technological expertise and innovativeness provided the supporting and convincing rigorous scientific evidence for this tissue resident host defense system, and, in work of fundamental importance, he has explored interactions between the tissue microenvironment and resident T cells to help define a new field in immunology. In work with potentially great impact, he has discovered a way to vaccinate that elicits extraordinary numbers of these resident tissue T cells, located where they first encounter a pathogen, at a time when the small size of the infected population provides the most favorable odds to prevent transmission and systemic infection. In a proof-of principle experiment in the SIV-monkey model of HIV-1 transmission to women, he has shown that this approach can prevent transmission or greatly attenuate systemic infection, a result without precedent in the HIV-1 vaccine field, and one that holds great promise for developing an effective vaccine.


Selected Key publications:

1. Masopust D, Vezys V, Marzo AL, Lefrancois L. Preferential localization of effector memory cells in nonlymphoid tissue. 2001. Science. 291:2413-7.

>1350 citations. Recently designated a “Pillar of Immunology” by the American Association of Immunologists.

2. Wherry EJ, Teichgraber V, Becker TC, Masopust D, Kaech SM, Antia R, von Andrian UH, Ahmed R. Lineage relationship and protective immunity of memory CD8 T cell subsets. 2003. Nat Immunol. 4:225-34.

>1250 citations

3. Masopust D, Vezys,V, Usherwood EJ, Cauley LS, Olson S, Marzo AL, Ward RL, Woodland DL, and Lefrancois L. Activated primary and memory CD8 T cells migrate to nonlymphoid tissues regardless of site of activation or tissue of origin. 2004. J Immunol. 172:4875-82.

>200 citations

4. Barber DL, Wherry EJ, Masopust D, Zhu B, Allison JP, Sharpe AH, Freeman GJ, Ahmed R. Restoring function in exhausted CD8 T cells during chronic viral infection. 2006. Nature. 439:682-87.

>1500 citations

5. Masopust D, Vezys V, Wherry EJ, Barber DL, Ahmed R. Cutting edge: gut microenvironment promotes differentiation of a unique memory CD8 T cell population. 2006. J Immunol. 176:2079-83.

>125 citations

6. Vezys V, Yates A, Casey KA, Lanier G, Ahmed R, Antia R, Masopust D. Size of memory CD8 T cell compartment grows with immunological experience. 2009. Nature.457:196-9.

>100 citations

7. Masopust D, Choo D, Vezys V, Wherry EJ, Duraiswamy J, Akondy RS, Wang J, Casey KA, Barber DL, Fraser KA, Kawamura KS, Webby RJ, Brinkmann V, Butcher EC, Newell KA, Ahmed R. Dynamic T cell migration program establishes resident memory within intestinal epithelium. 2010. J Exp Med, 207:553-64.

96 citations

8. Casey KA, Fraser KA, Schenkel JM, Moran A, Abt MC, Beura LK, Lucas PJ, Artis D, Wherry EJ, Hogquist K, Vezys V, Masopust D. Antigen independent differentiation and maintenance of effector-like resident memory T cells in tissues. 2012. J Immunol. 188:4866-75.

33 citations

9. Anderson KG, Sung H, Skon CN, Lefrancois L, Deisinger A, Vezys V, Masopust D. Cutting Edge: Intravascular staining redefines lung CD8 T cell responses. 2012.J Immunol. 189:2702-6.

10. Schenkel, JM, Fraser KA, Vezys V, Masopust D. Sensing and alarm function of resident memory CD8+ T cells. 2013. Nature Immunology. 14:509-13.

11. Masopust D, Schenkel JM. 2013. The integration of T cell migration, differentiation and function. Nature Reviews Immunology. 13:309-20.

12. Fraser KA, SchenkelJM, Jameson SC, Vezys V, Masopust D. Preexisting high frequencies of memory CD8+ T cells favor rapid memory differentiation and preservation of proliferative potential upon boosting. 2013. Immunity. 39:171-83.