Tim R. Mosmann, Ph.D.

Tim R. Mosmann, Ph.D.

Contact Information

University of Rochester Medical Center
School of Medicine and Dentistry
601 Elmwood Ave, Box 609
Rochester, NY 14642

Office: (585) 273-1400
Lab: (585) 275-9445
Fax: (585) 273-2452

Professional Bio

Dr. Tim R. Mosmann is Director of the Human Immunology Center (HIC), and also serves as the Director and Michael and Angela Pichichero Director's Endowed Chair of the David H. Smith Center for Vaccine Biology and Immunology.

Dr. Mosmann received B.S. degrees in both Chemistry and Physiology, and in Microbiology, from the University of Natal and Rhodes University in South Africa. He subsequently emigrated to Canada and obtained his Ph.D. in Microbiology at the University of British Columbia. Research fellowships at the University of Toronto and University of Glasgow were followed by his appointment as an assistant professor at the University of Alberta. He then spent 8 years in industry, as a research scientist at DNAX Research Institute in Palo Alto, California - prior to rejoining the University of Alberta as Chairman of the Department of Immunology. In 1998, he was recruited to the University of Rochester.

Dr. Mosmann has made many important contributions to the field of Immunology, and is perhaps best known for his discovery, with his colleague Dr. Robert Coffman, of the TH1 and TH2 subsets of T lymphocytes, which determine whether the host response to infection will be characterized by a predominantly humoral immune response (TH2) or a predominantly cellular immune response (TH1). This discovery was a crucial event in our understanding of how the host immune response is regulated, and has fundamental implications for vaccine design and disease pathogenesis. Dr. Mosmann is recognized by the Institute for Scientific Information as a highly cited scientist, and has won many honours and awards for his unique contributions to understanding of the immune system. Note that "highly cited" scientists comprise less than 0.5% of all publishing researchers in science.

Research Bio

The Th1 and Th2 subsets of CD4+ T cells induce different types of effector functions that are useful in combating different pathogens. Th1 cells producing Interferon gamma induce cytotoxic, inflammatory responses that are most effective against intracellular parasites, whereas Th2 cells producing IL4 and IL5 induce successful responses against helminth parasites. Although naïve, uncommitted CD4 T cells can differentiate into Th1 or Th2 phenotypes within a few days of initial stimulation, they can also remain uncommitted. These primed, precursor cells (Thpp) produce IL-2 and proliferate rapidly, allowing expansion of antigen-specific cells during an immune response before commitment to a particular effector phenotype. Cells producing only IL-2 also persist for several weeks after immunization, suggesting that these cells may also provide an expanded pool of uncommitted T cells for subsequent immune responses. In common with Treg cells, Thpp express CD73, which can help to generate adenosine that contributes to immune suppression.

In vivo T cell functions are difficult to evaluate, because cytokine secretion phenotypes in addition to Th1, Th2 and Th0 may occur in vivo; and differentiation and selective growth of T cell subsets in vitro can rapidly obscure patterns that occur in vivo. We are using multicolor flow cytometry and Spot assays to detect the simultaneous expression of two or more cytokines by individual human or mouse T cells, to resolve the contributions of partial differentiation, stochastic variation and environmental effects to the spectrum of cytokines produced by individual cells. Short-term cloning experiments are being used to examine the relationship between T cell phenotypes in vivo, versus in long-term tissue culture. These methods are being applied to define the precise T cell phenotypes induced by vaccination and infection by different influenza strains in infants, adults and the elderly.

A Genechip analysis of T cell gene expression revealed that Amphiregulin, an EGF family member, is selectively expressed in activated mouse Th2 cells, and contributes to Th2-mediated elimination of a helminth parasite. This raises the possibility that Th2 cells could contribute to asthma both by enhancing the allergic response and by increasing tissue remodeling. Initial human experiments suggest that regulation of amhipregulin expression is more complex in humans, but still linked to a Type 2 response. A clinical study has been initiated to compare amphiregulin expression in asthmatic patients and controls.

Awards & Honors (National)

Novartis Prize for Basic Immunology | Novartis | International 2013
Pillars of Immunology, 1989 article, IL-10 discovery | Journal of Immunology 2012
Thomson Reuters Citation Laureate | http://ip-science.thomsonreuters.com/nobel/categories/medicine/ 2011
Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize | Frankfurt, Germany 2008
Pillars of Immunology, 1986 paper, T cell subsets 2005
International Research Scholar, Howard Hughes Medical Institute. 1997 - 2001
William B. Coley Award, Cancer Research Institute (USA) 1997
NIH Fogarty Scholar-in-Residence, 12 months total 1996 - 1999
Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada 1995
Avery-Landsteiner Prize, German Society for Immunology 1994
Bernhard Cinader Lectureship, Canadian Society for Immunology. 1993
International Research Scholar, Howard Hughes Medical Institute. 1991 - 1996
Centennial Fellow, MRC of Canada. 1975 - 1977

Awards & Honors (Local)

ASTECH award for Outstanding Leadership in Alberta Science 1997

Recent Journal Articles

Showing the 5 most recent journal articles. 181 available »

2016 Jan
Rebhahn JA, Roumanes DR, Qi Y, Khan A, Thakar J, Rosenberg A, Lee FE, Quataert SA, Sharma G, Mosmann TR. "Competitive SWIFT cluster templates enhance detection of aging changes." Cytometry. Part A : the journal of the International Society for Analytical Cytology. 2016 Jan; 89(1):59-70. Epub 2015 Oct 06.
2015 Aug
Deng N, Mosmann TR. "Optimization of the cytokine secretion assay for human IL-2 in single and combination assays." Cytometry. Part A : the journal of the International Society for Analytical Cytology. 2015 Aug; 87(8):777-83. Epub 2015 Apr 28.
2015 Jul
Brinkman RR, Aghaeepour N, Finak G, Gottardo R, Mosmann T, Scheuermann RH. "State-of-the-Art in the Computational Analysis of Cytometry Data." Cytometry. Part A : the journal of the International Society for Analytical Cytology. 2015 Jul; 87(7):591-3.
2015 Apr 21
Kvistborg P, Gouttefangeas C, Aghaeepour N, Cazaly A, Chattopadhyay PK, Chan C, Eckl J, Finak G, Hadrup SR, Maecker HT, Maurer D, Mosmann T, Qiu P, Scheuermann RH, Welters MJ, Ferrari G, Brinkman RR, Britten CM. "Thinking outside the gate: single-cell assessments in multiple dimensions." Immunity. 2015 Apr 21; 42(4):591-2.
2014 Sep 21
Bobo B, Phelan D, Rebhahn J, Piepenbrink MS, Zheng B, Mosmann TR, Kobie JJ, DeLouise LA. "Microbubble array diffusion assay for the detection of cell secreted factors." Lab on a chip. 2014 Sep 21; 14(18):3640-50. Epub 2014 Jul 31.

Current Appointments

Director - Center for Vaccine Biology and Immunology - Primary Administrative
Michael and Angela Pichichero Director in the David H. Smith Center for Vaccine Biology and Immunology - Center for Vaccine Biology and Immunology
Professor - Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Center for Vaccine Biology and Immunology (SMD) - Primary


PhD | Microbiology | University of British Columbia1973
B. Sc. | Microbiology | Rhodes University1969
BS | Chemistry, and Physiology | University of Natal1968

Post-Doctoral Training & Residency

Glasgow University, Glasgow, Scotland; Immunology 1977
Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto; Immunology 1975