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

Associate Professor
Molecular Microbiology and Immunology


Education

M.D., University of Vienna Medical School, Vienna, Austria 
Ph.D., Rockefeller University, New York, NY

Research

Dendritic cells (DCs) have crucial roles in priming effector T cells but DCs also have critical tolerogenic functions in the peripheral immune system, extending the maintenance of immune homeostasis and blocking autoimmune responses.  However, broad tolerogenic functions of DCs including induction of peripheral regulatory T cells (pTreg cells) could hamper protective immune responses against some pathogens and tumors, whereas an inadvertent activation of autoregressive T cells in the presence of pro-inflammatory stimuli could lead to autoimmunity. Therefore the maintenance of immune homeostasis by DCs requires specific mechanisms that actively adjust T cell functions to promote tolerance while preserving an overall high plasticity of the immune responses.

cover(DCs with specialized tolerogenic functions are represented here as red flowers attracting naïve T cells depicted as green bees that can acquire regulatory functions, symbolized as purple halos. Trends in Immunology, 2017, Nov;38(11):793-804)   https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1VyH5_XTJFZQzX
Cover image by Htoi Jones.


To clarify the mechanisms by which DCs govern T cell tolerance in the context of autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and other immune responses, studies in my laboratory are focused on the roles of specialized subsets of DCs and their specific functions in tolerance as well as the relevant molecular mechanisms induced by such DCs in T cells. Our work has elucidated the functions of specific immunomodulatory pathways, cell signaling regulators and transcription factors that establish tolerogenic outcomes of the interactions between T cells and DCs. 

Labs and Facilities

Lab Members

Jessica Bourque

Graduate Student (M.D.,Ph.D.) jess.bourque@slu.edu

Courtney Iberg
Graduate Student (Ph.D.) courtney.iberg@slu.edu

Ian Fallahee
Graduate Student (Ph.D.) ian.fallahee@slu.edu

Adeleye Opejin
Graduate Student (Ph.D.) adeleye.opejin@slu.edu

Alexey Surnov
Postdoctoral Fellow alexey.surnov@health.slu.edu

Lab Alumni

Jacob G. Henderson, Ph.D.
(graduate student 2011-15)

Andrew J. Jones, Ph.D.
(M.D.,Ph.D. student 2013-17)

Publications

Recent Publications

Iberg CA and Hawiger D
Advancing immunomodulation by in vivo antigen delivery to DEC205 and other cell surface molecules using recombinant chimeric antibodies
International Immunopharmacology, 2019, in press

Bourque J and Hawiger D
The BTLA - HVEM - CD5 immunoregulatory axis – an instructive mechanism governing pTreg cell differentiation
Frontiers in Immunology, 2019, in press

Bourque J and Hawiger D
Immunomodulatory Bonds of the Partnership between Dendritic Cells and T Cells
Critical Reviews in Immunology, 2018, 38(5):p.379-401. PMID: 30792568

Iberg CA, Jones A and Hawiger D  
Dendritic cells as inducers of peripheral tolerance. 
Trends in Immunology,  2017, 38(11):793-804.  PMID: 28826942  
https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1VyH5_XTJFZQzX

Ye J, Wang Y, Liu X, Li L, Opejin A, Hsueh EC, Luo H, Wang T, Hawiger D and Peng G
TLR7 Signaling Regulates Th17 Cells and Autoimmunity: Novel Potential for Autoimmune Therapy. 
Journal of Immunology, 2017 1;199(3):941-954.  PMID: 28652396

Jones A and Hawiger D
Peripherally Induced Regulatory T Cells: Recruited Protectors of the Central Nervous System against Autoimmune Neuroinflammation
Frontiers in Immunology, 2017, 8:532. PMID: 28536579 

Jones A, Bourque J, Kuehm L, Opejin A, Teague RM , Gross C and Hawiger D
Immunomodulatory functions of BTLA and HVEM govern induction of extrathymic regulatory T cells and tolerance by dendritic cells.
Immunity, 2016, 45(5): p.1066-1077.  PMID: 27793593

Henderson JG and Hawiger D
Regulation of extrathymic Treg cell conversion by CD5.
Oncotarget, 2015, 6(29): p. 26554-555.  PMID: 26450851

Jones A, Opejin A, Henderson JG, Gross C, Jain R, Epstein JA, Flavell RA and Hawiger D
Peripherally Induced Tolerance Depends on Peripheral Regulatory T Cells That Require Hopx To Inhibit Intrinsic IL-2 Expression.
Journal of Immunology, 2015, 15;195(4): p. 1489-97.  PMID: 26170384

Henderson JG, Opejin A, Jones A, Gross C, and Hawiger D
CD5 instructs extrathymic regulatory T cell development in response to self and tolerizing antigens.
Immunity, 2015, 42(3): p. 471-483.  PMID: 25786177