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Daniel Hawiger, M.D., Ph.D.

Molecular Microbiology and Immunology


  • M.D.:  Vienna University
  • Ph.D.:  Rockefeller University
  • Postdoctoral: Yale University

Research Interests

Dr. Hawiger’s research straddles basic science and clinically oriented investigation. Together with his laboratory Dr. Hawiger made major contributions to understanding the functions of conventional dendritic cells and T cells, made key advances in bioengineering of recombinant antibodies, and developed new approaches to single cell sequencing analysis.

Immunobiology of dendritic cells and T cells: 
Dr. Hawiger characterized dendritic cells with tolerogenic functions in vivo, defined roles of such dendritic cells in amelioration of autoimmune responses in models of multiple sclerosis and uncovered specific mechanisms governing the induction and survival of peripheral (extrathymic) regulatory T cells relevant to autoimmune responses. Recently, Dr. Hawiger uncovered pre-effector T cells with a pluripotent autoimmune encephalitogenic differentiation potential in vivo. Moreover, Dr. Hawiger revealed molecular mechanisms controlling death of tolerogenic dendritic cells under pro-inflammatory conditions, therefore establishing the ablation of tolerogenic dendritic cells as a crucial component of the pro-inflammatory maturation process. 

Bioengineering of recombinant proteins for immunomodulation in vivo:
Earlier in his career Dr. Hawiger pioneered the original anti-DEC-205 chimeric antibody to enable strategies for targeted delivery of defined antigens to dendritic cells in vivo that have now been broadly adopted. Dr. Hawiger further established the applications of these dendritic cell-targeting strategies for amelioration of autoimmune disease in animal models. More recently, Dr. Hawiger and his laboratory developed methods for stable production of conventional and bispecific recombinant antibodies and antibody-like molecules as well as their conjugation with nucleic acids for specific tolerogenic and pro-immunogenic immunomodulation. 

Approaches to single cell sequencing analysis: 
Dr. Hawiger’s team recently devised Seqtometry, an approach to single cell sequencing analysis based on transcriptomic and epigenomic profiling within biologically interpretable dimensions enabled by advanced scoring with multiple gene signatures that correspond to specific biological processes. Dr. Hawiger established key applications of Seqtometry for basic research as well as possible diagnostic applications in Alzheimer’s disease and other diseases. 

Publications and Media Placements

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