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

Coordinated elimination of bacterial taxa optimally attenuates alloimmunity and prolongs allograft survival.
Coordinated elimination of bacterial taxa optimally attenuates alloimmunity and prolongs allograft survival. Am J Transplant. 2024 Mar 20.
PMID: 38519004

Tiny heroes: Microbiota-modified bile acid metabolites protect against drug-induced gut damage.
Tiny heroes: Microbiota-modified bile acid metabolites protect against drug-induced gut damage. Am J Transplant. 2024 Mar 18.
PMID: 38508318

Low-affinity CD8+ T cells provide interclonal help to high-affinity CD8+ T cells to augment alloimmunity.
Low-affinity CD8+ T cells provide interclonal help to high-affinity CD8+ T cells to augment alloimmunity. Am J Transplant. 2024 Jan 14.
PMID: 38228228

Advancing mouse models for transplantation research.
Advancing mouse models for transplantation research. Am J Transplant. 2024 Jan 12.
PMID: 38219866

Heterogeneity in allospecific T cell function in transplant-tolerant hosts determines susceptibility to rejection following infection.
Heterogeneity in allospecific T cell function in transplant-tolerant hosts determines susceptibility to rejection following infection. J Clin Invest. 2023 11 01; 133(21).
PMID: 37676735

Biological Time Travel: Tracking the Journey of Alloreactive T Cells Through Longitudinal Biobanking.
Biological Time Travel: Tracking the Journey of Alloreactive T Cells Through Longitudinal Biobanking. Transplantation. 2023 09 01; 107(9):1862-1864.
PMID: 37606904

Microbiota-dependent and -independent effects of obesity on transplant rejection and hyperglycemia.
Microbiota-dependent and -independent effects of obesity on transplant rejection and hyperglycemia. Am J Transplant. 2023 10; 23(10):1526-1535.
PMID: 37356668

Sex, T Cells, and the Microbiome in Natural ABO Antibody Production in Mice.
Sex, T Cells, and the Microbiome in Natural ABO Antibody Production in Mice. Transplantation. 2023 Jun 08.
PMID: 37289044

Sex, T Cells, and the Microbiome in Natural ABO Antibody Production in Mice.
Sex, T Cells, and the Microbiome in Natural ABO Antibody Production in Mice. Transplantation. 2023 11 01; 107(11):2353-2363.
PMID: 37871273

Pregnancy programs epigenetic and transcriptional exhaustion in memory CD8+ T cells.
Pregnancy programs epigenetic and transcriptional exhaustion in memory CD8+ T cells. Res Sq. 2023 Apr 05.
PMID: 37066154

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