Michael McHeyzer-Williams, PhD

Professor Emeritus
Department of Immunology and Microbiology


Scripps Research Joint Appointments

Faculty, Graduate Program

Research Focus

Regulating adaptive immunity to enhance memory

Helper T cells are the master regulators of adaptive immunity that control the development of antigen-specific B cell immunity. Our research focuses on the cellular and molecular mechanisms controlling follicular helper T cell regulated development of antigen-specific B memory. Recent findings from our laboratory use high-order multidimensional single cell strategies to analyze B cell memory at antigen recall. These studies provide new insight into the cellular organization and molecular control of adaptive immunity that are central to long-term immune protection and have implications for contemporary vaccine design.


Ph.D. (Immunology), The University of Melbourne, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, 1991

Professional Experience

2001-2017 Professor, Immunology and Microbial Science (IMS), Scripps Research
1995-2000 Assistant Professor in Immunology, School of Medicine, Duke University
1992-1995 Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Medicine, Stanford University

Selected References

All Publications

McHeyzer-Williams, LJ*, Milpied, PJ*, Okitsu, SL and McHeyzer-Williams, MG. (2015) Switched-memory B cells remodel BCRs within secondary germinal centers. Nature Immunology 16: 296-305. *equal contribution  |  doi:10.1038/ni.3095

Wang, NS, McHeyzer-Williams, LJ, Okitsu, SL, Burris, TP, Reiner, SL and McHeyzer-Williams, MG. (2012) Divergent transcriptional programming of class-specific B cell memory by T-bet and RORa. Nature Immunology 13: 604-11.  |  PMC3362691

McHeyzer-Williams, MG, Okitsu, SL, Wang, NS and McHeyzer-Williams, LJ. (2011) Molecular programming of B cell memory. Nature Review Immunology 12: 24-34.  |  PMC3947622

‚Ä™Pelletier, N, McHeyzer-Williams, LJ, Wong, KA, Urich, E, Fazilleau, N and McHeyzer-Williams, MG. (2010) Plasma cells negatively regulate the follicular helper T cell program. Nature Immunology 11: 1110-8.  |  PMC3058870

Fazilleau, NR, McHeyzer-Williams, LJ, Rosen, H and McHeyzer-Williams, MG. (2009) The function of follicular helper T cell (TFH) is regulated by strength of T cell antigen receptor binding. Nature Immunology 10: 375-84.  |  PMC2712297

Malherbe, LP, Mark, L, Fazilleau, NR, McHeyzer-Williams, LJ and McHeyzer-Williams, MG. (2008) Vaccine adjuvants alter TCR-based selection thresholds. Immunity. 28: 698-709.  |  PMC2695494

‚Ä™Fazilleau, NR*, Eisenbraun, MD*, Malherbe, LP, Ebright, JN, Pogue-Caley, RR, McHeyzer-Williams, LJ and McHeyzer-Williams, MG. (2007) Lymphoid reservoirs of antigen-specific memory T helper cells. Nature Immunology 8: 753-61. *equal contribution  |  PMID:17529982


Deconstructing B Cell Memory YouTube

Study Shows How Immune Cells Hone Their Skills to Fight Disease

Scientists Show How Memory B Cells Stay 'In Class' to Fight Infections

Scientists Redefine the Role of Plasma Cells in the Immune System