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Christopher Allen, PhD

Title(s)Associate Professor, Cardiovascular Research Inst
SchoolSchool of Medicine
Phone415-476-5178
ORCID ORCID Icon0000-0002-1879-9047 Additional info
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    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Education and Training
    University of California, San FranciscoPh.D.2007 Graduate Division (Biomedical Sciences)
    Collapse Awards and Honors
    2012  - 2017NIH Director's New Innovator Award
    2016Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    My laboratory is interested in the cellular communication and differentiation programs in allergic immune responses, particularly in asthma. My laboratory is applying sophisticated imaging, flow cytometry, mouse genetics, and other techniques to uncover novel paradigms underlying allergic inflammation. As a major area of emphasis, we are studying the generation and function of IgE antibodies that initiate allergic inflammation. We generated fluorescent IgE reporter mice and allowing us to identify and track rare IgE-producing B cells in vivo. We also optimized a flow cytometry procedure to identify rare IgE-producing B cells in both mouse and human samples, facilitating mechanistic studies. Our work has revealed that the IgE B cell receptor exhibits antigen (ligand)-independent signaling that promotes plasma cell differentiation and limits IgE germinal center B cell responses. We are also imaging the lungs and associated lymphoid tissues by two-photon laser scanning microscopy to directly visualize cellular interactions in situ. Using this approach, we achieved the first in vivo analysis of the interactions of CD4 T cells with basophils, which are rare IgE effector cells. We are now analyzing the interactions of basophils with other cell types during secondary immune responses to further elucidate the functions of these cells. More broadly, we are considering the combined cellular interactions among various types of inflammatory cells in the lungs in mouse models of asthma.

    Collapse Research 
    Collapse Research Activities and Funding
    Regulation of IgE responses by B cell receptor signaling
    NIH/NIAID R01AI130470Nov 20, 2017 - Oct 31, 2022
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Function of bronchus-associated macrophages
    NIH/NIAID R21AI130495Jun 7, 2017 - May 31, 2019
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Analysis of basophil function in secondary immune responses
    NIH/NIAID R01AI103146Dec 1, 2012 - Nov 30, 2017
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Cellular interactions in asthma
    NIH/NHLBI DP2HL117752Sep 30, 2012 - Aug 31, 2017
    Role: Principal Investigator

    Collapse ORNG Applications 
    Collapse Featured Publications
    Collapse Websites
    Collapse In The News
    Collapse Student Projects

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
    List All   |   Timeline
    1. Cyster JG, Allen CDC. B Cell Responses: Cell Interaction Dynamics and Decisions. Cell. 2019 Apr 18; 177(3):524-540. PMID: 31002794.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Tang XZ, Jung JB, Allen CDC. A case of mistaken identity: The MAR-1 antibody to mouse FceRIa cross-reacts with Fc?RI and Fc?RIV. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2019 Jan 10. PMID: 30639345.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Wu CM, Roth TL, Baglaenko Y, Ferri DM, Brauer P, Zuniga-Pflucker JC, Rosbe KW, Wither JE, Marson A, Allen CDC. Genetic engineering in primary human B cells with CRISPR-Cas9 ribonucleoproteins. J Immunol Methods. 2018 Jun; 457:33-40. PMID: 29614266.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Genuth MA, Allen CDC, Mikawa T, Weiner OD. Chick cranial neural crest cells use progressive polarity refinement, not contact inhibition of locomotion, to guide their migration. Dev Biol. 2018 Dec 01; 444 Suppl 1:S252-S261. PMID: 29501457.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Yang Z, Jung JB, Allen CDC. Study of IgE-Producing B Cells Using the Verigem Fluorescent Reporter Mouse. Methods Mol Biol. 2018; 1799:247-264. PMID: 29956157.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Yang Z, Allen CDC. Expression of Exogenous Genes in Murine Primary B Cells and B Cell Lines Using Retroviral Vectors. Methods Mol Biol. 2018; 1707:39-49. PMID: 29388098.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Laidlaw BJ, Schmidt TH, Green JA, Allen CD, Okada T, Cyster JG. The Eph-related tyrosine kinase ligand Ephrin-B1 marks germinal center and memory precursor B cells. J Exp Med. 2017 03 06; 214(3):639-649. PMID: 28143955.
      View in: PubMed
    8. Robinson MJ, Prout M, Mearns H, Kyle R, Camberis M, Forbes-Blom EE, Paul WE, Allen CD, Le Gros G. IL-4 Haploinsufficiency Specifically Impairs IgE Responses against Allergens in Mice. J Immunol. 2017 03 01; 198(5):1815-1822. PMID: 28115531.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Yang Z, Robinson MJ, Chen X, Smith GA, Taunton J, Liu W, Allen CD. Regulation of B cell fate by chronic activity of the IgE B cell receptor. Elife. 2016 12 09; 5. PMID: 27935477.
      View in: PubMed
    10. Allen CD. Germinal center quality control: death by Fas. Immunity. 2015 May 19; 42(5):783-5. PMID: 25992852.
      View in: PubMed
    11. Cheng LE, Sullivan BM, Retana LE, Allen CD, Liang HE, Locksley RM. IgE-activated basophils regulate eosinophil tissue entry by modulating endothelial function. J Exp Med. 2015 Apr 06; 212(4):513-24. PMID: 25779634.
      View in: PubMed
    12. Yang Z, Robinson MJ, Allen CD. Regulatory constraints in the generation and differentiation of IgE-expressing B cells. Curr Opin Immunol. 2014 Jun; 28:64-70. PMID: 24632082.
      View in: PubMed
    13. Bannard O, Horton RM, Allen CD, An J, Nagasawa T, Cyster JG. Germinal center centroblasts transition to a centrocyte phenotype according to a timed program and depend on the dark zone for effective selection. Immunity. 2013 Nov 14; 39(5):912-24. PMID: 24184055.
      View in: PubMed
    14. Yang Z, Sullivan BM, Allen CD. Fluorescent in vivo detection reveals that IgE(+) B cells are restrained by an intrinsic cell fate predisposition. Immunity. 2012 May 25; 36(5):857-72. PMID: 22406270.
      View in: PubMed
    15. Steiner DF, Thomas MF, Hu JK, Yang Z, Babiarz JE, Allen CD, Matloubian M, Blelloch R, Ansel KM. MicroRNA-29 regulates T-box transcription factors and interferon-? production in helper T cells. Immunity. 2011 Aug 26; 35(2):169-81. PMID: 21820330.
      View in: PubMed
    16. Green JA, Suzuki K, Cho B, Willison LD, Palmer D, Allen CD, Schmidt TH, Xu Y, Proia RL, Coughlin SR, Cyster JG. The sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor S1P2 maintains the homeostasis of germinal center B cells and promotes niche confinement. Nat Immunol. 2011 Jun 05; 12(7):672-80. PMID: 21642988.
      View in: PubMed
    17. Beltman JB, Allen CD, Cyster JG, de Boer RJ. B cells within germinal centers migrate preferentially from dark to light zone. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 May 24; 108(21):8755-60. PMID: 21555569.
      View in: PubMed
    18. Sullivan BM, Liang HE, Bando JK, Wu D, Cheng LE, McKerrow JK, Allen CD, Locksley RM. Genetic analysis of basophil function in vivo. Nat Immunol. 2011 Jun; 12(6):527-35. PMID: 21552267.
      View in: PubMed
    19. Allen CD, Cyster JG. Follicular dendritic cell networks of primary follicles and germinal centers: phenotype and function. Semin Immunol. 2008 Feb; 20(1):14-25. PMID: 18261920.
      View in: PubMed
    20. Haynes NM, Allen CD, Lesley R, Ansel KM, Killeen N, Cyster JG. Role of CXCR5 and CCR7 in follicular Th cell positioning and appearance of a programmed cell death gene-1high germinal center-associated subpopulation. J Immunol. 2007 Oct 15; 179(8):5099-108. PMID: 17911595.
      View in: PubMed
    21. Allen CD, Okada T, Cyster JG. Germinal-center organization and cellular dynamics. Immunity. 2007 Aug; 27(2):190-202. PMID: 17723214.
      View in: PubMed
    22. Allen CD, Okada T, Tang HL, Cyster JG. Imaging of germinal center selection events during affinity maturation. Science. 2007 Jan 26; 315(5811):528-31. PMID: 17185562.
      View in: PubMed
    23. Chen TT, Li L, Chung DH, Allen CD, Torti SV, Torti FM, Cyster JG, Chen CY, Brodsky FM, Niemi EC, Nakamura MC, Seaman WE, Daws MR. TIM-2 is expressed on B cells and in liver and kidney and is a receptor for H-ferritin endocytosis. J Exp Med. 2005 Oct 03; 202(7):955-65. PMID: 16203866.
      View in: PubMed
    24. Allen CD, Ansel KM, Low C, Lesley R, Tamamura H, Fujii N, Cyster JG. Germinal center dark and light zone organization is mediated by CXCR4 and CXCR5. Nat Immunol. 2004 Sep; 5(9):943-52. PMID: 15300245.
      View in: PubMed