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Jonathan Sprent, MD, PhD

Professor Adjunct
Department of Immunology and Microbiology
California Campus
Scripps VIVO Scientific Profile
(858) 784-8619

Research Focus

T-cell Physiology and Function
T cells arise in the thymus and display responsiveness to peptidic fragments of foreign antigens bound to major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules in spleen and lymph nodes. Three aspects of T cell differentiation and function are being examined:

As the result of contact with self peptides and MHC molecules in the thymus, most mature T cells display tolerance to self components. The mechanisms involved in such self tolerance induction are being studied.

Presentation of foreign antigens to mature T cells is controlled by specialized antigen-presenting cells (APC). The events involved in T/APC interactions are being examined with the aid of artificial APC.

Most immune responses culminate in the production of specialized T memory cells. The factors controlling the production and survival of T memory cells are being investigated.


M.B.B.S., Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, University of Queensland, Medical School
B.Sc. (Pathology), University of Queensland
Ph.D. (Immunology), Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Professional Experience

2006-2017 Professor Adjunct, Immunology and Microbial Science (IMS), The Scripps Research Institute

Awards & Professional Activities

J. Allyn Taylor International Prize in Medicine; Fellow of the Royal Society (UK); Member, American Association of Immunologists (President, AAI 1998-1999); Advisory Editor, Experimental Cell Biology;Advisory Editor, Journal of Experimental Medicine; Editorial Advisor, Immunology and Cell Biology; Advisory Editor,Transplantation Immunology;Editorial Board Member, Immunity; Editorial Board Member, Scandinavian Journal of Immunology

Selected References

All Publications

Sprent, J. and Surh, C.D. T cell memory. Annu. Rev. Immunol. 20:551-579 (2002).

Sprent, J., and Kishimoto, H. The thymus and negative selection. Immunol. Rev. 185:126-135 (2002).

Sprent, J. and Surh, C.D. Knowing one's self: Central tolerance revisited. Nat. Immunol. 4:303-304 (2003).

Hwang, I, Shen, X., and Sprent, J. Direct stimulation of naïve T cells by membrane vesicles from antigen-presenting cells: Distinct roles for LFA-1 and CD28. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., USA. 100:6670-6675 (2003).