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Research Division Faculty


  Howard W. Davidson, PhD
  Primary Appointment: Associate Professor of Pediatrics
  Secondary Appointment: Associate Professor of Immunology/Microbiology


H. Davidson, J. Gallegos, K. Alavi, J. Walters, M. DangT. Sosinowski​

The ultimate goal of research in my laboratory is to develop improved methods for measuring autoimmunity in type 1A diabetes, identify reagents that might have therapeutic utility for the prevention and/or treatment of this disease, and ultimately to translate this research to the clinic. Type 1A diabetes is a T-cell mediated autoimmune disease that results in an absolute deficiency of insulin following destruction of pancreatic beta cells. Consequently my research focuses on 2 major areas; auto-immunity to pancreatic beta cell proteins, and the cell biology of the pancreatic beta cell, with special emphasis on diabetes autoantigens. Current projects include the characterization of human CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells recognizing potentially diabetogenic epitopes in the auto-antigens IA-2, IA-2ß (phogrin), IGRP, GAD65, Preproinsulin, and ZnT8; use of pre-clinical rodent models to develop novel immune-therapies based on these targets; and development of novel bioassays for measuring human auto-antigen specific T-cells in peripheral blood. I am also interested in the functional and cell biological properties of islet auto-antigens, and especially in determining why they are targeted by the immune system. I am currently investigating the hypothesis that post-translational modifications unique to the beta cell create “neo-antigens” that are not subject to central tolerance. I also have a long-standing research interest in the basic cell biology of antigen processing and presentation, particularly in B lymphocytes, and how this might be harnessed for the development of novel antigen-specific therapies that might be applicable to the treatment and/or prevention of type 1 diabetes.

Lab Members:
Principal Investigator: Howard Davidson, PhD, Associate Professor
Instructor: Tomasz Sosinowski, PhD
Professional Research Assistant:​ Joylynn Gallegos​, MS
Laboratory Manager:Jay Walters, BS


PhD: University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK (1988)

Please direct inquiries to specific e-mail addresses listed within individual entries. For all other general Research inquiries, please contact: Patricia Dodson​