Our Faculty

Maria-Luisa Alegre, MD PhD

My laboratory is interested in T cell responses in settings of transplantation, autoimmunity and cancer, with an emphasis on mouse models and emerging extensions onto clinical translation. A main focus of the laboratory is on T cell tolerance in transplantation and how infections and inflammatory events can affect induction or maintenance of tolerance. We have found that transplantation tolerance can exist at different levels of robustness based on the number of mechanisms of T cell tolerance that are engaged, and that infections or inflammation can erode such tolerance. The impact of bacterial infections on transplant outcomes has led us to discover that the microbiota also influences immune responses to transplanted organs and can be manipulated to prolong graft survival. Our clinical studies have focused on the immunology of transplant recipients and of patients infected with the bacteria that influence transplant outcomes and, collaboratively, we have explored the involvement of the microbiota in the responsiveness of melanoma patients to immunotherapy.

Universite Libre de Bruxelles
Brussels, Belgium
PhD - Medical Sciences
1994

University of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois
PhD - Immunology
1993

Universite Libre de Bruxelles
Brussels, Belgium
MD - Medicine
1985

Host-versus-commensal immune responses participate in the rejection of colonized solid organ transplants.
Pirozzolo I, Sepulveda M, Chen L, Wang Y, Lei YM, Li Z, Li R, Sattar H, Theriault B, Belkaid Y, Chong AS, Alegre ML. Host-versus-commensal immune responses participate in the rejection of colonized solid organ transplants. J Clin Invest. 2022 09 01; 132(17).
PMID: 35834335

Oral alloantigen exposure promotes donor-specific tolerance in a mouse model of minor-mismatched skin transplantation.
Wang P, Chen L, McIntosh CM, Lane JI, Li R, Xie SZ, Sattar H, Esterhazy D, Chong AS, Alegre ML. Oral alloantigen exposure promotes donor-specific tolerance in a mouse model of minor-mismatched skin transplantation. Am J Transplant. 2022 10; 22(10):2348-2359.
PMID: 35633180

Linked sensitization by memory CD4+ T cells prevents costimulation blockade-induced transplantation tolerance.
Andrade MS, Young JS, Pollard JM, Yin D, Alegre ML, Chong AS. Linked sensitization by memory CD4+ T cells prevents costimulation blockade-induced transplantation tolerance. JCI Insight. 2022 06 08; 7(11).
PMID: 35674134

Toward an understanding of allogeneic conflict in pregnancy and transplantation.
Durgam SS, Alegre ML, Chong AS. Toward an understanding of allogeneic conflict in pregnancy and transplantation. J Exp Med. 2022 05 02; 219(5).
PMID: 35416935

Taurodeoxycholic acid and valine reverse obesity-associated augmented alloimmune responses and prolong allograft survival.
Quante M, Iske J, Uehara H, Minami K, Nian Y, Maenosono R, Matsunaga T, Liu Y, Azuma H, Perkins D, Alegre ML, Zhou H, Elkhal A, Tullius SG. Taurodeoxycholic acid and valine reverse obesity-associated augmented alloimmune responses and prolong allograft survival. Am J Transplant. 2022 02; 22(2):402-413.
PMID: 34551205

Regulation of Alloantibody Responses.
Chong AS, Sage PT, Alegre ML. Regulation of Alloantibody Responses. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021; 9:706171.
PMID: 34307385

Restored TDCA and valine levels imitate the effects of bariatric surgery.
Quante M, Iske J, Heinbokel T, Desai BN, Cetina Biefer HR, Nian Y, Krenzien F, Matsunaga T, Uehara H, Maenosono R, Azuma H, Pratschke J, Falk CS, Lo T, Sheu E, Tavakkoli A, Abdi R, Perkins D, Alegre ML, Banks AS, Zhou H, Elkhal A, Tullius SG. Restored TDCA and valine levels imitate the effects of bariatric surgery. Elife. 2021 06 22; 10.
PMID: 34155969

Influence of the microbiome on solid organ transplant survival.
Pirozzolo I, Li Z, Sepulveda M, Alegre ML. Influence of the microbiome on solid organ transplant survival. J Heart Lung Transplant. 2021 08; 40(8):745-753.
PMID: 34030971

Pregnancy-induced humoral sensitization overrides T cell tolerance to fetus-matched allografts in mice.
Suah AN, Tran DV, Khiew SH, Andrade MS, Pollard JM, Jain D, Young JS, Yin D, Chalasani G, Alegre ML, Chong AS. Pregnancy-induced humoral sensitization overrides T cell tolerance to fetus-matched allografts in mice. J Clin Invest. 2021 01 04; 131(1).
PMID: 33393512

The COVID-19 pandemic: A community approach.
Cravedi P, Schold JD, Safa K, Kates OS, Elfadawy N, Mannon RB, Shah MB, Hammond SP, Avery R, Guerrero Miranda C, Riella LV, Jowsey-Gregoire S, Akalin E, Camirand G, Alegre ML, Azzi J. The COVID-19 pandemic: A community approach. Clin Transplant. 2020 11; 34(11):e14059.
PMID: 32762055

View All Publications

Chair, Nominations Committee
American Association of Immunologists
2020 - 2021

Elected to AAP
Association of American Physicians (AAP)
2020

Elected Fellow
American Society of Transplantation
2020

Established Investigator Award
American Society of Transplantation
2019

Paul S. Russell Visiting Professor
Massachussetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School
2018

Chair, Community of Basic Scientists
American Society of Transplantation
2016 - 2018

Section Editor
American Journal of Transplantation
2014 - 2020

Chair
Autumn Immunology Conference
2013

Member, AITC study section
NIH
2012 - 2018

Basic Science Investigator Award
American Society of Transplantation
2011

Board of Directors
Autumn Immunology Conference
2009 - 2014

Board of Directors
American Society of Transplantation
2009 - 2012

Leif B. Sorenson Faculty Research Award
The University of Chicago
2008

Section Editor
The Journal of Immunology
2007 - 2011

Member, TTT study section
NIH
2006 - 2009

Elected
American Aociety for Clinical Investigation (ASCI)
2006

Basic Science Career Development Award
American Society of Transplantation
2005

Best PhD Dissertation
The University of Chicago
1994

Intensive Care Competence Summa Cum Laude
Universite Libre de Bruxelles
1994

MD Summa Cum Laude
Universite Libre de Bruxelles
1985