Argyrios Theofilopoulos, MD

Department of Immunology and Microbiology
California Campus

Scripps Research Joint Appointments

Professor, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology
Faculty, Graduate Program

Research Focus

Dr. Theofilopoulos received his medical degree from the University of Athens, where he also completed his internship and residency in internal medicine. He then came to the Southwestern Medical School in Dallas as a postdoctoral fellow in Rheumatology under Professor Morris Ziff. In 1972, he moved to The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA, where he was trained in immunopathology under the tutelage of the Institute's director and founder, the preeminent pathologist Dr. Frank Dixon.

In 1983 he was promoted to Professor, and is currently Professor and Acting Chairman of the Department of Immunology and Microbial Science.

Dr. Theofilopoulos' research career centers on defining the molecular and genetic basis of autoimmune diseases, particularly systemic autoimmunity. Following early contributions to the characterization of immune complexes and development of assays for their detection, he embarked on detailed characterization of the humoral, cellular and histological characteristics of several spontaneous mouse lupus strains. His work in this area is widely recognized as the basis on which these models became the primary experimental vehicle for the study of this disease.

Recently, he and his colleagues addressed molecular aspects of lupus and made several important contributions with regard to autoantibody and T cell receptor genes. In the last few years, he and his associates have focused on identification of the basic genetic defects of systemic autoimmunity using both forward and reverse genetic approaches. This work has defined the multiple loci contributing to clinical manifestations of this disease, and identified the predisposing, suppressing and effector genes.

His current work focuses on the definition of the pathogenic role of Toll-like receptors and of the pleiotropic type 1 and type2 inferferons. Findings in these areas are likely to elucidate disease pathogenesis and lead to the development of novel therapeutics.

Dr. Theofilopoulos is a member of several scientific societies, has received several honorary doctoral degrees, and is a corresponding member o the Academy of Athens and an editor of a major text on autoimmune diseases (Molecular Pathology of Autoimmune Diseases) as well as Editor of the ongoing "Current Directions in Autoimmunity" series. He has published approximately 300 original papers and book chapters in this area, and has trained a number of fellows who now hold Professorships here and abroad.


M.D. (Medicine), University of Athens, School of Medicine, 1966

Professional Experience

2015-2017 California Vice Chairman, Immunology and Microbial Science (IMS), Scripps Research
1991-2017 Professor, Immunology and Microbial Science (IMS), Scripps Research
2008-2015 Chairman, Immunology and Microbial Science (IMS), Scripps Research
2004-2015 Faculty Member, Skaggs Graduate School of Chemical and Biological Sciences, Scripps Research
1983-1990 Professor, Department of Immunopathology, Research Institute of Scripps Clinic
1979-1983 Associate Professor (with Tenure), Department of Immunopathology, Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation
1976-1979 Associate Professor, Department of Immunopathology, Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation
1974-1976 Assistant Professor, Department of Immunopathology, Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation
1972-1974 Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Immunopathology with Dr. Frank Dixon, Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation

Awards & Professional Activities

National Institutes of Health Merit Award, 2003 18th Annual Paul Klemperer Award, 2005 Honorary Doctoral Degree, University of Patras Medical School, 2000 Honorary Doctoral Degree, University of Athens Medical School, 2002 Honorary Doctoral Degree, Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki, Medical School, 2006 Honorary Doctoral Degree, Democrates Medical School of Alexandroupolis, 2006 Corresponding Member, Academy of Athens, 2006

Selected References

All Publications

Santiago-Raber, M.-L., Baccala, R., Haraldsson, K.M., Choubey, D., Steward, T., Kono, D.H. and Theofilopoulos, A.N. Type-1 interferon receptor deficiency reduces lupus-like disease in NZB mice. J. Exp. Med. 197:777-788, 2003.

Baccala, R.G., Hoebe, K., Kono, D.H., Beutler, B. and Theofilopoulos, A.N. The TLR-dependent and TLR-independent pathways of Type I interferon induction in systemic autoimmunity. Nature Medicine 13:543-551, 2007.

Lawson, B.R., Manenkova, Y., Ahamed, J., Chen, X., Zou, J.-P., Baccala, R., Theofilopoulos, A.N., Chong, Y. Inhibition of transmethylation downregulates CD4 T cell activation and curtails development of autoimmunity. J. Immunol. 178:5366, 2007.

Haraldsson, M.K., Louis-dit-Sully, C., Lawson, B.R., Sternik, G., Santiago-Raber, M., Gascoigne, N.R.J., Theofilopoulos, A.N. and Kono, D.H. The lupus-related Lmb3 locus is a disease-suppressing coronin-1A gene mutation. Immunity 28:40-51, 2008.