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Willi Born Ph.D.

Professor of Immunology & Microbiology

1400 Jackson St., Rm K409d
Denver, CO 80206
Phone: 303-398-1087 Office, 303-398-1161 Lab
Dr. Born's National Jewish Health webpage
We are studying the biology of gamma-delta T cells. Problems of specific interest include ligands of the gamma-delta TCR, functional development of gamma-delta T cells, organization of the gamma-delta T cell system and interactions of gamma-delta T cells with other cells and systems in the vertebrate body. We are also interested in the role of gamma-delta T cells in diseases, and in possible therapeutic uses of gamma-delta T cell function.
1977    Albert Ludwigs Universitaet (Freiburg, Germany), Diplom / Biology (German MS)
1982    Albert Ludwigs Universitaet (Freiburg, Germany), Dr.rer.nat. / Biology (German PhD)

1982    UTHSD (Dallas, TX), Postdoctoral Fellow
1984    National Jewish Health, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Born, W., Miles, C., White, J., O'Brien, R., Freed, J. H., Marrack, P., Kappler, J. and Kubo, R.T. Peptide sequences of T cell receptor d and g chains are identical to predicted X and g proteins. Nature, 330: 572-574,1987.

  • Chien, Y., Iwashima, M. Wettstein, D., Kaplan, K., Elliott, J. F., Born, W., and Davis, M. M.  T cell receptor d gene rearrangement in early thymocytes.  Nature, 330: 722-727,1987.

  • O'Brien, R. L., Happ, M. P., Dallas, A., Palmer, E., Kubo, R. and Born, W. Stimulation of a major subset of lymphocytes expressing T cell receptor gd by an antigen derived from Mycobacterium tuberculosis.  Cell 57: 667-674, 1989.

  • Happ, M.P., Kubo, R.T., Palmer, E., Born, W.K. and O'Brien, R.L.  Limited receptor repertoire in a mycobacteria-reactive subset of gd T lymphocytes.  Nature 342: 696-698, 1989

  • Born, W., Hall, L., Dallas, A., Boymel, J., Shinnick, T., Young, D., Brennan, P., and O'Brien, R.  Recognition of a peptide antigen by heat shock reactive gd T lymphocytes.  Science 249: 67-69, 1990.

  • Reardon, C., Lefrancois, L., Farr, A., Kubo, R., O’Brien, R. and Born, W.  Expression of gd T-cell receptors on lymphocytes from the lactating mammary gland.  J. Exp. Med.172:1263-1266, 1990.

  • Carbone, A., Harbeck, R., Dallas, A., Nemazee, D., Finkel, T., O’Brien, R., Kubo, R. and Born, W.  Alpha beta T lymphocyte depleted mice, a model for gd T lymphocyte functional studies.  Immunol. Rev. 120:35-50, 1991.

  • Fu, Y.-X., Cranfill, R., Vollmer, M., van der Zee, R., O'Brien, R.L., and Born, W.  In vivo response of murine gd T cells to an HSP-60 derived peptide.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 90:322-326, 1993.

  • Fu, Y.-X., Ellis-Roark, C., Kelly, K., Drevets, D., Campbell, P., O'Brien, R. and Born, W.  Immune protection and control of inflammatory tissue necrosis by gd T cells.  J. Immunol. 153:3101-3115,1994.

  • Heyborne, K., Fu, Y.-X., Nelson, A., Farr, A., O'Brien, R. and Born, W.  Recognition of trophoblasts by gd T cells.  J. Immunol. 153:2918-2926,1994.

  • Lahn, M., Kalataradi, H., Mittelstadt, P., Pflum, E., Vollmer, M., Cady, C., Mukasa, A., Vella, A., Ikle, D., Harbeck, R., O'Brien, R., and Born, W.  Early preferential stimulation of gd T cells by tumor necrosis factor alpha.  J. Immunol. 160:5221-5230,1998.

  • Lahn, M., Kanehiro, A., Takeda, K., Joetham, A., Schwarze, J., Kohler, G., O’Brien, R., Gelfand, E.W., Born, W.  Negative regulation of airway responsiveness that is dependent on gd T cells and independent of ab T cells.  Nature Medicine 5: 1150-1156, 1999.

  • Born, W., Cady, C., Jones-Carson, J., Mukasa, A., Lahn, M., and O'Brien, R.L.  Immunoregulatory Function of gd T cells.  Advances in Immunology, Vol.71, pp 77-144, 1999.

  • Lahn, M., Kanehiro, A., Takeda, K., Terry, J., Hahn, Y.-S., Aydintug, M.K., Konowal, A., Ikuta, K., O’Brien, R.L., Gelfand, E.W., and Born, W.K.  MHC class I-dependent Vg4+ pulmonary T cells regulate ab T cell-independent airway responsiveness.  Proc.Natl.Acad.Sci., 99:8850-8855, 2002.

  • Born, W.K. and O’Brien, R.  The healing touch of epidermal T cells. (News and Views).  Nature Medicine, 8:560-561, 2002

  • Hahn, Y.-S., Taube, C., Jin, N., Sharp, L., Wands, J.M., Aydintug, M.K., Lahn, M., Huber, S., O’Brien, R.L., Gelfand, E.W., and Born, W.K.  Different Potentials of gd T Cell Subsets in Regulating Airway Responsiveness: Vg1+ Cells, but not Vg4+ Cells, Promote Airway Hyperreactivity, Th-2 Cytokines and Airway Inflammation.  J. Immunol. 172: 2894-2902, 2004

  • Aydintug, M.K., Roark, C.L., Saffrey, M., Yin, X., Wands, J.M., Born, W.K., O’Brien, R.L.  Detection of Cell Surface Ligands for the gd TCR using soluble TCRs.  J. Immunol., 172: 4167-4175, 2004.

  • Wands, J.M., Roark, C.L., Aydintug, M.K., Jin, N., Hahn, Y.-S., Cook, L., Yin, X., Dalporto, J., Lahn, M., Hyde, D.M., Gelfand, E.W., Mason, R.J., O’Brien, R.L., and Born, W.K.  Distribution and leukocyte contacts of gd T cells in the lung.  J. Leukocyte Biol. 78: 1086-1096, 2005

  • French, J., Roark, C.L., Born, W.K., and O’Brien, R.L.  Gamma delta T cell homeostasis is established in competition with ab T cells and NK cells.  Proc.Natl.Acad.Sci. (USA), 102: 14741-14746, 2005.

  • Jin, N., Miyahara, N., Roark, C.L., French, J.D., Aydintug, M.K., Matsuda, J.L., Gapin, L. O'Brien, R.L., Gelfand, E.W., and Born, W. K.  Airway hyperresponsiveness through synergy of gd T cells and NKT cells.  J. Immunol., 179: 2961-68, 2007

  • Born, W.K., Jin, N., Aydintug, M.K., Wands, J.M., French, J.D., Roark, C.L., and O'Brien, R.L.  gd T lymphocytes - selectable cells within the innate system?

                J. Clin. Immunol., 27:133-44, 2007.

  • Cook, L., Miyahara, N., Jin, N., Wands, J.M., Taube, C., Roark, C.L., Potter, T.A.,Gelfand, E.W., O’Brien, R.L., and Born, W.K.  Evidence that CD8+ dendritic cells enable the development of gd T cells that modulate airway hyperresponsiveness. J. Immunol., 181: 309-319, 2008

  • French, J.D., Roark, C.L., Born, W.K., and O’Brien, R.L. Gamma-delta T lymphocyte homeostasis is negatively regulated by b2-microglobulin. J. Immunol., 182: 1892-1900, 2009

  • Born, W.K. and O’Brien, R.L. Antigen-restricted gd T cell receptors? Arch. Immunol. Ther. Exp., 57:129-135, 2009

  • Huang, Y., Jin, N., Roark, C.L., Aydintug, M.K., Wands, J.M., Huang, H., O’Brien, R.L., and Born, W.K.  The influence of IgE-enhancing and IgE-suppressive gd T cells changes with exposure to inhaled ovalbumin. J.Immunol., 183: 849-855, 2009

  • Zhang, L., Jin, N., Nakayama, M., Wands, JM, O’Brien, R.L., Eisenbarth, G.S., and Born, W.K.  Gamma delta T cell receptors confer autonomous responsiveness to the insulin peptide B:9-23. J. Autoimmun., 34:478-484, 2010.

  • Bonneville, M., O’Brien, R.L. and Born, W.K. gd T cell effector functions: a blend of innate programming and adaptive plasticity. Nature Reviews Immunology, 10: 467-478, 2010.

  • Simonian, P.L., Wehrmann, F., Roark, C.L., Born, W.K., O’Brien, R.L., and Fontenot, A.P. gd T cells protect against lung fibrosis via IL-22. J. Exp. Med., 207:2239-2253, 2010.

  • Born, W.K. and O'Brien, R.L. gd T cells develop, respond and survive - with a little help from CD27. (Commentary) Eur. J.Immunol.,  41:26-28, 2011

View of Recent Publications in PubMed

​2006: NJMRC "Faculty Citizen of the Year"

2005: Visiting Professor, PUMC, Beijing, China

1989: Investigator Award, Cancer Research Institute

1982: Fellow: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

1974: Fellow: Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes