Source: Interfolio F180

James Paulson

Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Chair of Chemistry
Department of Molecular Medicine


Scripps Research Joint Appointments

Immunology & Microbiology
Skaggs Graduate School of Chemical and Biological Sciences

Research Focus

Carbohydrate Binding Proteins in Regulation of Immune Function

Carbohydrate binding proteins are increasingly recognized to mediate key aspects of cell trafficking and cell signaling in the immune system. At least three families of carbohydrate binding proteins are known to mediate cellular communication among leukocytes. The siglec family now has thirteen members which are expressed on the surface of various white blood cells (e.g. B cells, NK cells, eosinophils, monocytes etc.), and all recognize sialic acid (NeuAc) containing carbohydrate ligands. The best understood for its function is CD22 (siglec-2), which is known to be a negative regulator of B cell receptor signaling. The carbohydrate ligand of CD22 is the sequence NeuAca2,6Gal on N-linked oligosaccharides of glycoproteins. It is required for normal CD22 function since its absence in mutant mice results in marked immuno-suppression in response to vaccination. Our goal is to elucidate the roles of siglec receptors in immune function, and to define biochemical basis for how the interaction with their carbohydrate ligands modulate their function.

Current research interests include chemical biology approaches to understand the roles of glycans in mediating recognition by pathogens (e.g. influenza virus), immune cell receptors (e.g. Siglecs) and modulation of immune responses for treatment of disease.


Ph.D. (Biochemistry), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1974
M.S. (Biochemistry), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1971
A.B. (Chemistry/Biology), MacMurray College, 1970

Professional Experience

Dept. of Biochemistry, Duke University, Postdoctoral Fellow 1974-1978
Dept. of Biol. Chem., Univ. California Los Angeles, Assistant Professor 1978-1981
Dept. of Biol. Chem., Univ. California Los Angeles, Associate Professor 1981-1985
Dept. of Biol. Chem., Univ. California Los Angeles, Professor and Vice Chair 1985-1990
Cytel Corporation, V.P. Research Development and Board of Directors 1990-1996
Cytel Corporation, Chief Scientific Officer and General Manager and Board of Directors 1996-1999;
The Scripps Research Institute, Professor, Depts. of Chemical Physiology and Molecular Biology 1999-2012
The Scripps Research InstituteChairman and Professor, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology 2013-2014,
The Scripps Research Institute, Acting President & CEO 2014-2015
Cecil H. and Ida Green Professor and Chairman 2015-2017
Cecil H. and Ida Green Professor and Co-Chair 2017 to present.

Awards & Professional Activities

2008 Barnett Lecture, Northeastern University
2008 Bjivoet Medal, Bjivoet Center, Utrecht
2009 Karl Meyer Award, Society for Glycobiology
2015 The Cecil H. and Ida Green Chair Award, The Scripps Research Institute
2016 Melville Wolfrom Award, American Chemical Society
2016 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow
2020 United States EPA Green Chemistry Challenge Award

Selected Publications

Peng, W.; de Vries, R. P.; Grant, O. C.; Thompson, A. J.; McBride, R.; Tsogtbaatar, B.; Lee, Peter S.; Razi, N.; Wilson, Ian A.; Woods, R. J.; Paulson, James C. Recent H3N2 viruses have evolved specificity for extended, branched human-type receptors, conferring potential for increased avidity. Cell Host & Microbe 2017, 21, 23-34.

Cao, L.; Diedrich, J. K.; Kulp, D. W.; Pauthner, Matthias G.; He, L.; Park, S. K.; Sok, Devin; Su, C. Y.; Delahunty, C. M.; Menis, S.; Andrabi, Raiees A.; Guenaga, J.; Georgeson, E.; Kubitz, M.; Adachi, Y.; Burton, Dennis R.; Schief, William R.; Yates, John R.; Paulson, James C. Global site-specific N-glycosylation analysis of HIV envelope glycoprotein. Nature Communications 2017, 8.

de Vries, R. P.; Peng, W.; Grant, O. C.; Thompson, A. J.; Zhu, X.; Bouwman, K. M.; de la Pena, A. T.; van Breemen, M. J.; Wickramasinghe, I. N.; de Haan, C. A.; Yu, W.; McBride, R.; Sanders, R. W.; Woods, R. J.; Verheije, M. H.; Wilson, Ian A.; Paulson, James C. Three mutations switch H7N9 influenza to human-type receptor specificity. PLoS Pathogens 2017, 13.

Muller, F. J.; Macauley, Matthew; Crocker, P. R.; Loring, Jeanne F.; Paulson, James C. Siglec-mediated regulation of immune cell function in disease. Nature Reviews Immunology 2014, 14, 653-666.

Stowell, S. R.; Arthur, C. M.; McBride, R.; Berger, O.; Razi, N.; Heimburg-Molinaro, J.; Rodrigues, L. C.; Gourdine, J. P.; Noll, A. J.; von Gunten, S.; Smith, D. F.; Knirel, Y. A.; Paulson, James C.; Cummings, R. D. Microbial glycan microarrays define key features of host-microbial interactions. Nature Chemical Biology 2014, 10, 470-476.

Macauley, Matthew; Arlian, B. M.; Rillahan, Cory D.; Pang, P. C.; Bortell, N.; Marcondes, Cecilia; Haslam, S. M.; Dell, A.; Paulson, James C. Systemic blockade of sialylation in mice with a global inhibitor of sialyltransferases. Journal of Biological Chemistry 2014, 289, 35149-35158.