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Jacques Robert

TitleAssociate Professor
InstitutionSchool of Medicine and Dentistry
DepartmentMicrobiology and Immunology
AddressUniversity of Rochester Medical Center
School of Medicine and Dentistry
601 Elmwood Ave, Box 672
Rochester NY 14642
 
 Awards And Honors
1990     Cum laude graduate  | University of Geneva
2000     Travel award  | International Society of Developmental and Comparative Immunolog
2001     Travel award  | AAI
2007     Excellence in Research Award
2009 - 2010Provost's multidsciplinary award
2011     Alumni Award for Excellence in Graduate Education of the University of Rochester Medical Center  | Graduate Education of the University of Rochester Medical Center
 
 Overview
EVOLUTION OF IMMUNE SURVEILLANCE,
TUMOR AND VIRAL IMMUNITY

The overall goal of our research is to understand the co-evolutionary relationships between the structure of selected molecules (e.g., heat shock proteins [hsps], hsp-receptors [CD91], NK cell receptors [KIR, FcRs], non-classical class Ib molecules [XNCs]) and their functions in innate and adaptive immunity against tumors and viruses using the frog Xenopus laevis as animal model.

One specific research area addresses the postulated dual role of the hsps gp96 and hsp70 in immunity. The comparative tumor-immunity model developed in Xenopus provides an alternative to mice in order to explore the ability of hsps to generate responses against tumors that have down-regulated their MHC class Ia molecules thereby escaping immune surveillance. To better reveal the respective role of classical and non-classical MHC class I genes in immune surveillance and T cell development, we are developing transgenesis strategies to modulate their expression in vivo by RNAi knockdown and induced transgene expression.
A second area concerns phylogenetic history and biological significance several immune receptor gene families (e.g., KIR, FcR-like) that appear to regulate leukocyte functions through integration of inhibitory and activating signals, by genomic and genetic approaches based on the recently fully sequenced genome of the X. laevis sister species Silurana (Xenopus) tropicalis.
A third research area concerns basic comparative and applied studies of viral pathogenesis and immunity in amphibians caused by Poxvirus-like Iridoviruses such as Frog virus 3 (FV3). Because of the threat of emerging wildlife viral diseases on global biodiversity, fundamental research on comparative viral immunity has become crucial. We have established Xenopus as an important experimental model to study the host defense and the pathogenesis of Iridovirus infection, and evaluate the contribution of immunocompromised animals in the dissemination of the diseases. We are also developing a method to knockout (KO) putative virulence genes by site-specific integration of a selectable fluorescent marker into the FV3 genome. Susceptible Xenopus larvae provide an ideal model to evaluate the impact of KOs on in vivo virus load, host mortality and the induction of pro-inflammatory genes.

Xenopus laevis Research Resource for Immunology: The University of Rochester is home to the world's most comprehensive resource specializing in the use of the amphibian Xenopus laevis for immunological research. Several genetically-defined inbred strains and clones are available for study. The facility also maintains and develops research tools such as transgenic animals, monoclonal antibodies, cell lines, DNA libraries and molecular probes. The resource includes a satellite facility devoted to study infectious diseases caused by Iridovirus. The resource is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIAID).

 
 Selected Publications
List All   |   Timeline
  1. Edholm ES, Albertorio Saez LM, Gill AL, Gill SR, Grayfer L, Haynes N, Myers JR, Robert J. Nonclassical MHC class I-dependent invariant T cells are evolutionarily conserved and prominent from early development in amphibians. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Aug 27; 110(35):14342-7.
    View in: PubMed
  2. Grayfer L, Robert J. Colony-Stimulating Factor-1-Responsive Macrophage Precursors Reside in the Amphibian (Xenopus laevis) Bone Marrow rather than the Hematopoietic Subcapsular Liver. J Innate Immun. 2013; 5(6):531-42.
    View in: PubMed
  3. Nedelkovska H, Edholm ES, Haynes N, Robert J. Effective RNAi-mediated ß2-microglobulin loss of function by transgenesis in Xenopus laevis. Biol Open. 2013 Mar 15; 2(3):335-42.
    View in: PubMed
  4. Nedelkovska H, Robert J. Hsp72 mediates stronger antigen-dependent non-classical MHC class Ib anti-tumor responses than hsc73 in Xenopus laevis. Cancer Immun. 2013 Jan; 13:4.
    View in: PubMed
  5. De Jesús Andino F, Chen G, Li Z, Grayfer L, Robert J. Susceptibility of Xenopus laevis tadpoles to infection by the ranavirus Frog-Virus 3 correlates with a reduced and delayed innate immune response in comparison with adult frogs. Virology. 2012 Oct 25; 432(2):435-43.
    View in: PubMed
  6. Grayfer L, Andino Fde J, Chen G, Chinchar GV, Robert J. Immune evasion strategies of ranaviruses and innate immune responses to these emerging pathogens. Viruses. 2012 Jul; 4(7):1075-92.
    View in: PubMed
  7. Nedelkovska H, Robert J. Optimized transgenesis in Xenopus laevis/gilli isogenetic clones for immunological studies. Genesis. 2012 Mar; 50(3):300-6.
    View in: PubMed
  8. Lesbarrères D, Balseiro A, Brunner J, Chinchar VG, Duffus A, Kerby J, Miller DL, Robert J, Schock DM, Waltzek T, Gray MJ. Ranavirus: past, present and future. Biol Lett. 2012 Aug 23; 8(4):481-3.
    View in: PubMed
  9. Chen G, Robert J. Antiviral immunity in amphibians. Viruses. 2011 Nov; 3(11):2065-86.
    View in: PubMed
  10. Robert J, Gregory Chinchar V. "Ranaviruses: an emerging threat to ectothermic vertebrates" report of the First International Symposium on Ranaviruses, Minneapolis MN July 8, 2011. Dev Comp Immunol. 2012 Feb; 36(2):259-61.
    View in: PubMed
  11. Chen G, Ward BM, Yu KH, Chinchar VG, Robert J. Improved knockout methodology reveals that frog virus 3 mutants lacking either the 18K immediate-early gene or the truncated vIF-2alpha gene are defective for replication and growth in vivo. J Virol. 2011 Nov; 85(21):11131-8.
    View in: PubMed
  12. Robert J, George E, De Jesús Andino F, Chen G. Waterborne infectivity of the Ranavirus frog virus 3 in Xenopus laevis. Virology. 2011 Sep 1; 417(2):410-7.
    View in: PubMed
  13. Robert J, Cohen N. The genus Xenopus as a multispecies model for evolutionary and comparative immunobiology of the 21st century. Dev Comp Immunol. 2011 Sep; 35(9):916-23.
    View in: PubMed
  14. Goyos A, Sowa J, Ohta Y, Robert J. Remarkable conservation of distinct nonclassical MHC class I lineages in divergent amphibian species. J Immunol. 2011 Jan 1; 186(1):372-81.
    View in: PubMed
  15. Chida AS, Goyos A, Robert J. Phylogenetic and developmental study of CD4, CD8 a and ß T cell co-receptor homologs in two amphibian species, Xenopus tropicalis and Xenopus laevis. Dev Comp Immunol. 2011 Mar; 35(3):366-77.
    View in: PubMed
  16. Nedelkovska H, Cruz-Luna T, McPherson P, Robert J. Comparative in vivo study of gp96 adjuvanticity in the frog Xenopus laevis. J Vis Exp. 2010; (43).
    View in: PubMed
  17. Robert J. Comparative study of tumorigenesis and tumor immunity in invertebrates and nonmammalian vertebrates. Dev Comp Immunol. 2010 Sep; 34(9):915-25.
    View in: PubMed
  18. Hellsten U, Harland RM, Gilchrist MJ, Hendrix D, Jurka J, Kapitonov V, Ovcharenko I, Putnam NH, Shu S, Taher L, Blitz IL, Blumberg B, Dichmann DS, Dubchak I, Amaya E, Detter JC, Fletcher R, Gerhard DS, Goodstein D, Graves T, Grigoriev IV, Grimwood J, Kawashima T, Lindquist E, Lucas SM, Mead PE, Mitros T, Ogino H, Ohta Y, Poliakov AV, Pollet N, Robert J, Salamov A, Sater AK, Schmutz J, Terry A, Vize PD, Warren WC, Wells D, Wills A, Wilson RK, Zimmerman LB, Zorn AM, Grainger R, Grammer T, Khokha MK, Richardson PM, Rokhsar DS. The genome of the Western clawed frog Xenopus tropicalis. Science. 2010 Apr 30; 328(5978):633-6.
    View in: PubMed
  19. Morales HD, Abramowitz L, Gertz J, Sowa J, Vogel A, Robert J. Innate immune responses and permissiveness to ranavirus infection of peritoneal leukocytes in the frog Xenopus laevis. J Virol. 2010 May; 84(10):4912-22.
    View in: PubMed
  20. Ribas L, Li MS, Doddington BJ, Robert J, Seidel JA, Kroll JS, Zimmerman LB, Grassly NC, Garner TW, Fisher MC. Expression profiling the temperature-dependent amphibian response to infection by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. PLoS One. 2009; 4(12):e8408.
    View in: PubMed
  21. Guselnikov SV, Reshetnikova ES, Najakshin AM, Mechetina LV, Robert J, Taranin AV. The amphibians Xenopus laevis and Silurana tropicalis possess a family of activating KIR-related Immunoglobulin-like receptors. Dev Comp Immunol. 2010 Mar; 34(3):308-15.
    View in: PubMed
  22. Rosenblum EB, Poorten TJ, Settles M, Murdoch GK, Robert J, Maddox N, Eisen MB. Genome-wide transcriptional response of Silurana (Xenopus) tropicalis to infection with the deadly chytrid fungus. PLoS One. 2009; 4(8):e6494.
    View in: PubMed
  23. Robert J, Ohta Y. Comparative and developmental study of the immune system in Xenopus. Dev Dyn. 2009 Jun; 238(6):1249-70.
    View in: PubMed
  24. Goyos A, Ohta Y, Guselnikov S, Robert J. Novel nonclassical MHC class Ib genes associated with CD8 T cell development and thymic tumors. Mol Immunol. 2009 May; 46(8-9):1775-86.
    View in: PubMed
  25. Robert J, Goyos A, Nedelkovska H. Xenopus, a unique comparative model to explore the role of certain heat shock proteins and non-classical MHC class Ib gene products in immune surveillance. Immunol Res. 2009 Dec; 45(2-3):114-22.
    View in: PubMed
  26. Goyos A, Robert J. Tumorigenesis and anti-tumor immune responses in Xenopus. Front Biosci. 2009; 14:167-76.
    View in: PubMed
  27. Robert J, Ramanayake T, Maniero GD, Morales H, Chida AS. Phylogenetic conservation of glycoprotein 96 ability to interact with CD91 and facilitate antigen cross-presentation. J Immunol. 2008 Mar 1; 180(5):3176-82.
    View in: PubMed
  28. Morales H, Robert J. In vivo and in vitro techniques for comparative study of antiviral T-cell responses in the amphibian Xenopus. Biol Proced Online. 2008; 10:1-8.
    View in: PubMed
  29. Marr S, Morales H, Bottaro A, Cooper M, Flajnik M, Robert J. Localization and differential expression of activation-induced cytidine deaminase in the amphibian Xenopus upon antigen stimulation and during early development. J Immunol. 2007 Nov 15; 179(10):6783-9.
    View in: PubMed
  30. Robert J, Abramowitz L, Gantress J, Morales HD. Xenopus laevis: a possible vector of Ranavirus infection? J Wildl Dis. 2007 Oct; 43(4):645-52.
    View in: PubMed
  31. Goyos A, Guselnikov S, Chida AS, Sniderhan LF, Maggirwar SB, Nedelkovska H, Robert J. Involvement of nonclassical MHC class Ib molecules in heat shock protein-mediated anti-tumor responses. Eur J Immunol. 2007 Jun; 37(6):1494-501.
    View in: PubMed
  32. Ramanayake T, Simon DA, Frelinger JG, Lord EM, Robert J. In vivo study of T-cell responses to skin alloantigens in Xenopus using a novel whole-mount immunohistology method. Transplantation. 2007 Jan 27; 83(2):159-66.
    View in: PubMed
  33. Morales HD, Robert J. Characterization of primary and memory CD8 T-cell responses against ranavirus (FV3) in Xenopus laevis. J Virol. 2007 Mar; 81(5):2240-8.
    View in: PubMed
  34. Ichikawa HT, Sowden MP, Torelli AT, Bachl J, Huang P, Dance GS, Marr SH, Robert J, Wedekind JE, Smith HC, Bottaro A. Structural phylogenetic analysis of activation-induced deaminase function. J Immunol. 2006 Jul 1; 177(1):355-61.
    View in: PubMed
  35. Maniero GD, Morales H, Gantress J, Robert J. Generation of a long-lasting, protective, and neutralizing antibody response to the ranavirus FV3 by the frog Xenopus. Dev Comp Immunol. 2006; 30(7):649-57.
    View in: PubMed
  36. Robert J, Morales H, Buck W, Cohen N, Marr S, Gantress J. Adaptive immunity and histopathology in frog virus 3-infected Xenopus. Virology. 2005 Feb 20; 332(2):667-75.
    View in: PubMed
  37. Marr S, Goyos A, Gantress J, Maniero GD, Robert J. CD91 up-regulates upon immune stimulation in Xenopus adult but not larval peritoneal leukocytes. Immunogenetics. 2005 Jan; 56(10):735-42.
    View in: PubMed
  38. Maniero GD, Robert J. Phylogenetic conservation of gp96-mediated antigen-specific cellular immunity: new evidence from adoptive cell transfer in xenopus. Transplantation. 2004 Nov 27; 78(10):1415-21.
    View in: PubMed
  39. Goyos A, Cohen N, Gantress J, Robert J. Anti-tumor MHC class Ia-unrestricted CD8 T cell cytotoxicity elicited by the heat shock protein gp96. Eur J Immunol. 2004 Sep; 34(9):2449-58.
    View in: PubMed
  40. Robert J, Gantress J, Cohen N, Maniero GD. Xenopus as an experimental model for studying evolution of hsp--immune system interactions. Methods. 2004 Jan; 32(1):42-53.
    View in: PubMed
  41. Horton TL, Stewart R, Cohen N, Rau L, Ritchie P, Watson MD, Robert J, Horton JD. Ontogeny of Xenopus NK cells in the absence of MHC class I antigens. Dev Comp Immunol. 2003 Sep; 27(8):715-26.
    View in: PubMed
  42. Guselnikov SV, Bell A, Najakshin AM, Robert J, Taranin AV. Signaling FcRgamma and TCRzeta subunit homologs in the amphibian Xenopus laevis. Dev Comp Immunol. 2003 Sep; 27(8):727-33.
    View in: PubMed
  43. Gantress J, Maniero GD, Cohen N, Robert J. Development and characterization of a model system to study amphibian immune responses to iridoviruses. Virology. 2003 Jul 5; 311(2):254-62.
    View in: PubMed
  44. Robert J. Evolution of heat shock protein and immunity. Dev Comp Immunol. 2003 Jun-Jul; 27(6-7):449-64.
    View in: PubMed
  45. Robert J, Cohen N, Maniero GD, Goyos A, Morales H, Gantress J. Evolution of the immunomodulatory role of the heat shock protein gp96. Cell Mol Biol (Noisy-le-grand). 2003 Mar; 49(2):263-75.
    View in: PubMed
  46. Morales H, Muharemagic A, Gantress J, Cohen N, Robert J. Bacterial stimulation upregulates the surface expression of the stress protein gp96 on B cells in the frog Xenopus. Cell Stress Chaperones. 2003; 8(3):265-71.
    View in: PubMed
  47. Rau L, Gantress J, Bell A, Stewart R, Horton T, Cohen N, Horton J, Robert J. Identification and characterization of Xenopus CD8+ T cells expressing an NK cell-associated molecule. Eur J Immunol. 2002 Jun; 32(6):1574-83.
    View in: PubMed
  48. Robert J, Gantress J, Rau L, Bell A, Cohen N. Minor histocompatibility antigen-specific MHC-restricted CD8 T cell responses elicited by heat shock proteins. J Immunol. 2002 Feb 15; 168(4):1697-703.
    View in: PubMed
  49. Rau L, Cohen N, Robert J. MHC-restricted and -unrestricted CD8 T cells: an evolutionary perspective. Transplantation. 2001 Dec 15; 72(11):1830-5.
    View in: PubMed
  50. Robert J, Sung M, Cohen N. In vitro thymocyte differentiation in MHC class I-negative Xenopus larvae. Dev Comp Immunol. 2001 May; 25(4):323-36.
    View in: PubMed
  51. Robert J, Ménoret A, Basu S, Cohen N, Srivastava PR. Phylogenetic conservation of the molecular and immunological properties of the chaperones gp96 and hsp70. Eur J Immunol. 2001 Jan; 31(1):186-95.
    View in: PubMed
  52. Robert J, Ménoret A, Srivastava PK, Cohen N. Immunological properties of heat shock proteins are phylogenetically conserved. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2001; 484:237-49.
    View in: PubMed
  53. Du Pasquier L, Robert J, Courtet M, Mussmann R. B-cell development in the amphibian Xenopus. Immunol Rev. 2000 Jun; 175:201-13.
    View in: PubMed
  54. Robert J, Ménoret A, Cohen N. Cell surface expression of the endoplasmic reticular heat shock protein gp96 is phylogenetically conserved. J Immunol. 1999 Oct 15; 163(8):4133-9.
    View in: PubMed
  55. Robert J, Cohen N. In vitro differentiation of a CD4/CD8 double-positive equivalent thymocyte subset in adult Xenopus. Int Immunol. 1999 Apr; 11(4):499-508.
    View in: PubMed
  56. Robert J, Cohen N. Evolution of immune surveillance and tumor immunity: studies in Xenopus. Immunol Rev. 1998 Dec; 166:231-43.
    View in: PubMed
  57. Robert J, Cohen N. Ontogeny of CTX expression in xenopus. Dev Comp Immunol. 1998 Sep-Dec; 22(5-6):605-12.
    View in: PubMed
  58. Robert J, Brown DM, Pasquier LD, Cohen N. Antibody cross-linking of the thymocyte-specific cell surface molecule CTX causes abnormal mitosis and multinucleation of tumor cells. Exp Cell Res. 1997 Aug 25; 235(1):227-37.
    View in: PubMed
  59. Robert J, Chretien I, Guiet C, Du Pasquier L. Cross-linking CTX, a novel thymocyte-specific molecule, inhibits the growth of lymphoid tumor cells in Xenopus. Mol Immunol. 1997 Feb; 34(2):133-43.
    View in: PubMed
  60. Robert J, Guiet C, Cohen N, Du Pasquier L. Effects of thymectomy and tolerance induction on tumor immunity in adult Xenopus laevis. Int J Cancer. 1997 Jan 27; 70(3):330-4.
    View in: PubMed
  61. Chrétien I, Robert J, Marcuz A, Garcia-Sanz JA, Courtet M, Du Pasquier L. CTX, a novel molecule specifically expressed on the surface of cortical thymocytes in Xenopus. Eur J Immunol. 1996 Apr; 26(4):780-91.
    View in: PubMed
  62. Robert J, Guiet C, Du Pasquier L. Ontogeny of the alloimmune response against a transplanted tumor in Xenopus laevis. Differentiation. 1995 Oct; 59(3):135-44.
    View in: PubMed
  63. Du Pasquier L, Courtet M, Robert J. A Xenopus lymphoid tumor cell line with complete Ig genes rearrangements and T-cell characteristics. Mol Immunol. 1995 Jun; 32(8):583-93.
    View in: PubMed
  64. Robert J, Guiet C, Du Pasquier L. Lymphoid tumors of Xenopus laevis with different capacities for growth in larvae and adults. Dev Immunol. 1994; 3(4):297-307.
    View in: PubMed
  65. Du Pasquier L, Robert J. In vitro growth of thymic tumor cell lines from Xenopus. Dev Immunol. 1992; 2(4):295-307.
    View in: PubMed
  66. Robert J, Du Pasquier L, Kobel HR. Differential expression of creatine kinase isozymes during development of Xenopus laevis: an unusual heterodimeric isozyme appears at metamorphosis. Differentiation. 1991 Feb; 46(1):23-34.
    View in: PubMed
  67. Robert J, Wolff J, Jijakli H, Graf JD, Karch F, Kobel HR. Developmental expression of the creatine kinase isozyme system of Xenopus: maternally derived CK-IV isoform persists far beyond the degradation of its maternal mRNA and into the zygotic expression period. Development. 1990 Mar; 108(3):507-14.
    View in: PubMed
  68. Robert J, Kobel HR. Purification and characterization of cytoplasmic creatine kinase isozymes of Xenopus laevis. Biochem Genet. 1988 Oct; 26(9-10):543-55.
    View in: PubMed

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