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Aimee Bernard, PhD

Assistant Director, Human Immunology and Immunotherapy Initiative

Aimee Bernard, PhD
​12800 E. 19th Avenue, Mail Stop 8333
RC1N P18-8114
Aurora, Colorado 80045
​2001    PhD    Immunology | University of Rochester | Rochester, New York   
1995    BA    Biology | Gustavus Adolphus College | Saint Peter, Minnesota
​Dr. Bernard has a broad background in cellular immunology and molecular biology, with specific expertise in human immunology, having attained her PhD in the developmental regulation of human B cells and the autoimmune disorder Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE).  She also has extensive experience in teaching at the graduate and undergraduate level, having served as a full-time Senior Instructor in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Colorado Denver for eight years.  Additionally, she attained administrative, project management, and process improvement skills as a Clinical Care Guideline (CCG) Coordinator at Children’s Hospital Colorado as a member of the Clinical Effectiveness (CE) team within the Department of Quality and Patient Safety. 

As a graduate student in immunology in the laboratory of Ignacio Sanz, MD, Aimee studied the developmental regulation of VH4.34-expressing B cells as an experimental system for the study of human B cell tolerance. Her studies revealed that mechanisms of cellular regulation during development are impaired in patients with SLE leading to a breach in self-tolerance. As a post-doc at National Jewish Health in the laboratory of John Cambier, PhD, her research focused on the phenotypic characterization of anergic human B cells via the analysis of basal calcium levels and the ability to flux calcium after stimulation. As a post-doc at the Barbara Davis Center in the laboratory of Lori Sussel, PhD, her work revealed that Nkx2.2 is required in the differentiation of pancreatic beta cells and that insulin and ghrelin cells may share a common progenitor. After her post-docs, her experience as a Senior Instructor of Biology allowed her to develop teaching and communication skills, creating an interactive learning environment that was student-centered and focused on in-class problem solving. In her role as Clinical Care Guideline (CCG) Coordinator, she advanced the CCG program through a complete renovation of the entire process and was responsible for the recruitment, assembly, and oversight of numerous multidisciplinary clinical improvement teams toward the development of new guidelines and/or the revision of existing guidelines.

As the Assistant Director of the Human Immunology and Immunotherapy Initiative (HI3), she will utilize her experience in immunology, education, and program building to facilitate the creation of a premier facility focused on human immunotherapies for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and cancer.
2008​ ​​Desai, S., Loomis, Z., Pugh-Bernard, AE, Schrunk, J., Doyle, MJ, Minic, A., McCoy, E., Sussel, L. Nkx2.2 regulates cell fate choice in the enteroendocrine cell lineages of the intestine.  Developmental Biology 313(1):58-66.

​2008 Pugh-Bernard, A.E., Refaeli, Y, Cambier, JC. MHC     class II structural requirements for the association with Ig-alpha/beta, and signaling of calcium mobilization and cell death. Immunology Letters 116(2):184-194.

​2006 Pugh-Bernard, A., Cambier, J. B cell receptor signaling in human systemic lupus erythematosus. Current Opinion in Rheumatology 18:451-455

​2006 ​Wei, C., Anolik, J., Cappione, A., Zheng, B., Pugh-Bernard, A., Brooks, J., Lee, E-H., Milner, E.C.B., Sanz, I. A new population of cells lacking expression of CD27 represent a major component of the B cell memory compartment in SLE. Journal of Immunology 178(10):6624-6633.

​2005 ​Cappione, A.J., Anolik, J.H., Pugh-Bernard, A.E.,  Barnard, J., Dutcher, P., Silverman, G., Sanz, I.  Germinal center exclusion of autoreactive B cells is defective in human systemic lupus erythematosus. Journal of Clinical Investigation 115:3205-321
​2004 Anolik, J.H., Barnard, J., Cappione, A., Pugh-Bernard, A.E., Felgar, R.E., Looney, R.J., Sanz, I. Rituximab improves peripheral B cell abnormalities in human SLE. Arthritis & Rheumatism 50(11): 3580-3590
​2004 ​Prado, C.L.*, Pugh-Bernard, A.E.*, Elghazi, L., Sosa-Pineda, B., Sussel, L. Ghrelin cells replace insulin-producing β cells in two mouse models of pancreas development. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 101(9):2924-2929 
*authors contributed equally to this work

​2004 Cappione, A.J., Pugh-Bernard, A.E., Anolik, J. H., Sanz, I. Lupus IgG VH4.34-encoded antibodies bind to a 220-kDa glycoform of CD45/B220 on the surface of human B lymphocytes. Journal of Immunology 172(7):4298-4307
​2004 Pugh-Bernard, A.E., Cappione, A., Anolik, J.H., Sanz, I. From cold-agglutinin disease to SLE. Lessons in human tolerance and its breakdown. Transfusion Medicine and Hemotherapy 31(2):84-90

2004 ​Dal Porto, J.M., Gauld, S.B., Merrell, K.T., Mills, D., Pugh-Bernard, A.E., Cambier, J.C. B Cell Antigen Receptor Signaling 101. Molecular Immunology 41(6-7):599-613

​2001 Pugh-Bernard, A.E., Silverman, G.J., Ryan, D., Insel, R., Sanz, I. Regulation of inherently autoreactive VH4.34 B cells in the maintenance of human B cell tolerance. Journal of Clinical Investigation 108 (7):1060-1070
​2019-present DSB5511 Protectors & Invaders / Immunology & Microbiology | CU School of Dentistry
​2018-present MPAS 5001 Hematology, Infection, Inflammation and Malignancy I&II | CU CHA/PA Program
​2017-present ​IMMU7662 Immunology | CU Graduate School
​2016-present ​IDPT5003 Blood & Lymph Case Study Facilitator | CU School of Medicine
​2014-2015 ​UNHL4820 Scientific Thinking | CU Denver
​2008-2015 BIOL4622/5622 Advanced Topics in Immunology | CU Denver
​2007-2015 ​BIOL4051/5051 Advanced Topics in Microbiology: Virology | CU Denver
​2007-2015 ​BIOL3939 Biology Internship | CU Denver
​2008-2015 ​BIOL3832 General Genetics | CU Denver
​2007-2015 ​BIOL3621 Introduction to Immunology | CU Denver
​2008-2014 ​BIOL3124 Introduction to Molecular Biology | CU Denver
​2005 ​MCDB4300 Immunobiology | CU Boulder