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Keke Fairfax

Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology

B Cells, Macrophages, Schistosomiasis, Maternal Infection, Pathogenesis



Molecular Biology Program


B.A. University of Chicago

Ph.D. Yale University



IL-4 and immuno-modulation are hallmarks of parasitic infections, my laboratory broadly focuses on using the helminth parasite Schistosoma mansoni as a tool to understand both, the consequences of IL-4 induced immuno-modulation, and the complex interplay between B, T and stromal cells necessary to develop an optimal T and B cell memory response Under this umbrella we currently have three main projects:

  1. Understanding the immunological implications of maternal schistosomiasis;
  2. Dissecting the role of IL-4 in shaping the cellular environment of peripheral lymph nodes during homeostasis and antigenic challenge;
  3. Delineating the mechanistic role of hepatic macrophages in helminth-induced protection from metabolic diseases.

References (Selected References)

  1. Cortes-Selva, D., A. F. Elvington, A. Ready, B. Rajwa, E. J. Pearce, G. J. Randolph and K. C. Fairfax (2018). "Schistosoma mansoni Infection-Induced Transcriptional Changes in Hepatic Macrophage Metabolism Correlate With an Athero-Protective Phenotype." Frontiers in Immunology (2580).
  2. Wang F, Johnson RL, DeSmet ML, Snyder PW, Fairfax KC, Fleet JC. Vitamin D Receptor-Dependent Signaling Protects Mice From Dextran Sulfate Sodium-Induced Colitis.Endocrinology. 2017 Jun 1;158(6):1951-1963. doi: 10.1210/en.2016-1913. PubMed PMID: 28368514; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5460931.
  3. Fairfax KC, Everts B, Amiel E, Smith AM, Schramm G, Haas H, Randolph GJ, Taylor JJ, Pearce EJ. IL-4-Secreting Secondary T Follicular Helper (Tfh) Cells Arise from Memory T Cells, Not Persisting Tfh Cells, through a B Cell-Dependent Mechanism.J Immunol. 2015 Feb 23. pii: 1401225. PubMed PMID: 25712216.
  4. Fairfax KC, Everts B, Smith AM, Pearce EJ. Regulation of the development of the hepatic B cell compartment during Schistosoma mansoni infection. J Immunol. 2013 Oct 15;191(8):4202-10. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1301357. Epub 2013 Sep 13. PubMed PMID: 24038090; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3851305.
  5. Fairfax KC, Amiel E, King IL, Freitas TC, Mohrs M, Pearce EJ. IL-10R blockade during chronic schistosomiasis mansoni results in the loss of B cells from the liver and the development of severe pulmonary disease. PLoS Pathog. 2012 Jan;8(1):e1002490. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1002490. Epub 2012 Jan 26. PubMed PMID: 22291593; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3266936.
Last Updated: 9/23/21