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Michael McHeyzer-Williams, Ph.D.

Department of Immunology and Microbiology
California Campus
Scripps VIVO Scientific Profile
(858) 784-8259

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 Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, The University of Melbourne, 1991
B.Sc., (Hons), Immunology, The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, The University of Melbourne, 1987
B.Sc., Immunology and Pathology, The University of Melbourne, 1986

Professional Experience

2001-2017 Professor, Immunology and Microbial Science (IMS), The Scripps Research Institute
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

‪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

‪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