Skip to main content
Sign In

Michael T. Falta, PhD - Instructor

Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology


12700 E. 19th Avenue, B164, R2
Aurora, CO 80045
Phone: 303-724-7191
Fax: 303-724-7212


1984-85 University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland

1986 BA (Biology) Hamilton College, Clinton, NY

1994 PhD (Cell and Molecular Biology) University of Vermont, Burlington, VT

1994-1998 Postdoctoral Fellow, National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Denver, CO

1998-1999 Regular Fellow, Division of Allergy & Clinical Immunology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, CO

Chronic beryllium disease (CBD) is a granulomatous lung disease caused by the occupational exposure to the metal beryllium, and it is characterized by the accumulation of activated CD4+ T cells in the lungs.  A longstanding goal in understanding the immunopathogenesis of CBD is to determine how beryllium interacts with peptide and class II major histocompatibility molecules, and how antigen-specific T cells recognize these complexes.  My research currently involves using T cell hybridomas that express beryllium-specific T cell receptors to screen positional scanning peptide libraries.  We hope to identify a spectrum of peptides that permit beryllium recognition by particular T cells.  This information will might suggest novel therapies for the treatment of CBD.

Falta MT, Bowerman NA, Dai S, Kappler JW, and Fontenot AP. Linking Genetic Susceptibility and T Cell Activation in Beryllium-Induced Disease. Proc. Am. Thorac. Soc. In press.

Dai S, Murphy GA, Crawford F, Mack DG, Falta MT, Marrack P, Kappler JW and Fontenot AP. Crystal structure of HLA-DP2: Implications for chronic beryllium disease. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. In press.

Mack DG, Lanham AM, Falta MT, Palmer BE, Maier LA and Fontenot AP.  Deficient and dysfunctional regulatory T cells in the lungs of chronic beryllium disease subjects. Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med. In press.

Falta MT and Fontenot AP. Antigen Processing and Presentation. Comprehensive Toxicology 2nd Edition. Volume 6 - Toxicology of the Immune System. Editor D.A. Lawrence.

Falta MT, Fontenot AP, Rosloniec EF, Crawford F, Roark CL, Bill J, Marrack P, Kappler J and Kotzin BL. MHC class II/peptide tetramer staining in relation to functional avidity and TCR diversity in the mouse CD4+ T cell response to a rheumatoid arthritis associated antigen. Arthritis Rheum.  2005; 52:1885-1896.

Sullivan AK, Simonian PL, Falta MT, Cosgrove GP, Brown KK, Kotzin BL, Voelkel NF and Fontenot AP. Oligoclonal CD4+ T cells in the lungs of patients with severe emphysema. Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med.  2005; 172:590-596.

Bill JR, Mack DG, Falta MT, Maier LA, Joslin FG, Martin AK, Freed BM, Kotzin BL and Fontenot AP. Beryllium presentation to CD4+ T cells is dependent on a single amino acid residue of the MHC class II b-chain.  J. Immunol.  2005.   175:7029-7037.