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James Gardner, MD, PhD

Title(s)Assistant Professor, Surgery
SchoolSchool of Medicine
Address505 Parnassus Avenue
San Francisco CA 94143
Phone415-514-7420
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    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Education and Training
    Harvard University, Cambridge, MAAB06/2002Biochemistry
    University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CAMD/PhD06/2012Genetics
    University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CAResident06/2016General Surgery
    University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CAChief Resident06/2017General Surgery
    University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CAClinical Instructor and Fellow08/2019Abdominal Transplant Surgery
    Collapse Awards and Honors
    UCSF Dean's Office2019  - 2024Sandler PSSP Grant
    American Society of Transplant Surgeons2017  - 2019ASTS-Astellas Fellowship in Transplantation Grant
    UCSF Department of Surgery2017  - 2017Nusz Achievement Award
    UCSF Division of Trauma and Critical Care2016  - 2016Schecter Award for Senior Trauma Fellow
    UCSF Emergency Medicine2016  - 2016ED Surgical Consultant of the Year

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    The Gardner lab studies novel mechanisms of immune tolerance and their applications in autoimmunity, transplantation, and cancer immunology. In particular we focus on the biology and function of a unique population of dendritic cells expressing the Autoimmune Regulator (Aire) gene.

    Previously the lab has shown that by using bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) transgenesis we could exploit the Aire promoter to drive expression of disease-relevant antigens and transcriptional reporters in mice. Using these tools, we were able to alter thymic negative selection against disease-relevant antigens, but we were also able to identify novel populations of Aire-expressing cells outside the thymus in the secondary and tertiary lymphoid organs - which we called extra-Thymic Aire-expressing Cells (eTACs). We have since gone on to describe some of the fundamental biology and immunology of this population.

    We have found that, as in the thymus, Aire in eTACs regulates the expression of an array of tissue-specific antigens, though the set of antigens may be distinct from those expressed in the thymus. Further, we were able to demonstrate that eTACs could form long-term interactions with cognate T cells, and that the result of those interactions was deletional tolerance.

    We subsequently demonstrated that eTACs were hematopoietic in origin and members of the dendritic cell family, were highly potent inducers of self-tolerance resistant to both innate inflammatory stimuli and costimulation, and that antigen expression in eTACs was sufficient to prevent insulitis and autoimmune diabetes in a murine adoptive transfer model.

    We are currently using multimodal approaches from single-cell RNA-sequencing to ATAC-Seq to novel transgenic tools to understand the biology and immunology of this unique population of cells with significant potential for clinical relevance. We are interested in the role of such tolergenic APCs in normal immune homeostasis, as well as in disease-relevant applications from transplantation to tumor immunity.

    Collapse ORNG Applications 
    Collapse Featured Publications

    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. to make corrections and additions.
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    Altmetrics Details PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
    1. Ethical Issues in the COVID Era: Doing the Right Thing Depends on Location, Resources, and Disease Burden. Transplantation. 2020 Jul; 104(7):1316-1320. Stock PG, Wall A, Gardner J, Domínguez-Gil B, Chadban S, Muller E, Dittmer I, Tullius SG. PMID: 32569002.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    
    2. Curr Hepatology Rep. Non-selective Beta-Blockers in Decompensated Cirrhosis. 2020. View Publication.
    3. COVID-19 and Abdominal Transplant: A Stepwise Approach to Practice During Pandemic Conditions. Transplantation. 2020 Jun 29. Syed SM, Gardner J, Roll G, Webber A, Mehta N, Shoji J, Adelmann D, Niemann C, Braun HJ, Mello A, Yao F, Posselt A, Kang SM, Hirose R, Roberts J, Feng S, Ascher N, Stock P, Freise C. PMID: 32639408.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    
    4. Pancreas-After-Islet Transplantation in Nonuremic Type 1 Diabetes: A Strategy for Restoring Durable Insulin Independence. Am J Transplant. 2017 Sep; 17(9):2444-2450. Wisel SA, Gardner JM, Roll GR, Harbell J, Freise CE, Feng S, Kang SM, Hirose R, Kaufman DB, Posselt AM, Stock PG. PMID: 28489277.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    5. Effect of intratonsillar injection of steroids on the palatine tonsils of rabbits. Laryngoscope. 2014 Dec; 124(12):2811-7. Cho DY, Sinha SR, Gardner JM, Schaller MP, Pamnani RD, Felt SA, Barral JK, Messner AH. PMID: 24114886.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    6. Lineage tracing and cell ablation identify a post-Aire-expressing thymic epithelial cell population. Cell Rep. 2013 Oct 17; 5(1):166-79. Metzger TC, Khan IS, Gardner JM, Mouchess ML, Johannes KP, Krawisz AK, Skrzypczynska KM, Anderson MS. PMID: 24095736.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 26     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    7. Extrathymic Aire-expressing cells are a distinct bone marrow-derived population that induce functional inactivation of CD4? T cells. Immunity. 2013 Sep 19; 39(3):560-72. Gardner JM, Metzger TC, McMahon EJ, Au-Yeung BB, Krawisz AK, Lu W, Price JD, Johannes KP, Satpathy AT, Murphy KM, Tarbell KV, Weiss A, Anderson MS. PMID: 23993652.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 40     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    8. Neuropilin-1 distinguishes natural and inducible regulatory T cells among regulatory T cell subsets in vivo. J Exp Med. 2012 Sep 24; 209(10):1713-22, S1-19. Yadav M, Louvet C, Davini D, Gardner JM, Martinez-Llordella M, Bailey-Bucktrout S, Anthony BA, Sverdrup FM, Head R, Kuster DJ, Ruminski P, Weiss D, Von Schack D, Bluestone JA. PMID: 22966003.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 248     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    9. Immunoendocrinology: Scientific and Clinical Aspects. Eisenbarth, GS (Ed.). The Mouse Model of Autoimmune Polyglandular Syndrome Type I. 2011; 1(1):95-113. Gardner JM, Anderson MA.
    10. AIRE in the thymus and beyond. Curr Opin Immunol. 2009 Dec; 21(6):582-9. Gardner JM, Fletcher AL, Anderson MS, Turley SJ. PMID: 19833494.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 37     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    11. The sickness unto Deaf. Nat Immunol. 2009 Sep; 10(9):934-6. Gardner JM, Anderson MS. PMID: 19692991.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    12. Deletional tolerance mediated by extrathymic Aire-expressing cells. Science. 2008 Aug 08; 321(5890):843-7. Gardner JM, Devoss JJ, Friedman RS, Wong DJ, Tan YX, Zhou X, Johannes KP, Su MA, Chang HY, Krummel MF, Anderson MS. PMID: 18687966.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 181     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    13. Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific CD8+ T cells preferentially recognize heavily infected cells. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2003 Dec 01; 168(11):1346-52. Lewinsohn DA, Heinzel AS, Gardner JM, Zhu L, Alderson MR, Lewinsohn DM. PMID: 12969871.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 51     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
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