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James Gardner, MD, PhD

Title(s)Assistant Professor, Surgery
SchoolSchool of Medicine
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.
    List All   |   Timeline
    1. Wisel SA, Gardner JM, Roll GR, Harbell J, Freise CE, Feng S, Kang SM, Hirose R, Kaufman DB, Posselt AM, Stock PG. 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. PMID: 28489277.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Cho DY, Sinha SR, Gardner JM, Schaller MP, Pamnani RD, Felt SA, Barral JK, Messner AH. Effect of intratonsillar injection of steroids on the palatine tonsils of rabbits. Laryngoscope. 2014 Dec; 124(12):2811-7. PMID: 24114886.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Metzger TC, Khan IS, Gardner JM, Mouchess ML, Johannes KP, Krawisz AK, Skrzypczynska KM, Anderson MS. Lineage tracing and cell ablation identify a post-Aire-expressing thymic epithelial cell population. Cell Rep. 2013 Oct 17; 5(1):166-79. PMID: 24095736.
      View in: PubMed
    4. 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. 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. PMID: 23993652.
      View in: PubMed
    5. 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. 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. PMID: 22966003.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Gardner JM, Anderson MA.Immunoendocrinology: Scientific and Clinical Aspects. Eisenbarth, GS (Ed.). The Mouse Model of Autoimmune Polyglandular Syndrome Type I. 2011; 1(1):95-113.
    7. Gardner JM, Fletcher AL, Anderson MS, Turley SJ. AIRE in the thymus and beyond. Curr Opin Immunol. 2009 Dec; 21(6):582-9. PMID: 19833494.
      View in: PubMed
    8. Gardner JM, Anderson MS. The sickness unto Deaf. Nat Immunol. 2009 Sep; 10(9):934-6. PMID: 19692991.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Gardner JM, Devoss JJ, Friedman RS, Wong DJ, Tan YX, Zhou X, Johannes KP, Su MA, Chang HY, Krummel MF, Anderson MS. Deletional tolerance mediated by extrathymic Aire-expressing cells. Science. 2008 Aug 08; 321(5890):843-7. PMID: 18687966.
      View in: PubMed
    10. Lewinsohn DA, Heinzel AS, Gardner JM, Zhu L, Alderson MR, Lewinsohn DM. Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific CD8+ T cells preferentially recognize heavily infected cells. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2003 Dec 01; 168(11):1346-52. PMID: 12969871.
      View in: PubMed