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David J. Topham, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Administrative: (585) 273-1400

Office: (585) 273-1403

Fax: (585) 273-2452

Research Labs

Lab: (585) 273-1408

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Faculty Appointments


Professional Background

David Topham joined the faculty at the University of Rochester Medical Center in 1999 and was appointed in 2009 as Vice Provost and Executive Director of the Health Science Center for Computational Innovation (HSCCI), a partnership between the University and IBM. As Executive Director of the HSCCI, Dr. Topham's responsibility is to support collaboration in biomedical research using High Performance Computational Resources. He will bring together academic biomedical and health-related Research Investigators, High Performance Computational Biologists, and HP Research Computing resources. Dr. Topham provides strategic direction to the HSCCI and facilitates the development of research projects between UR scientists and its corporate partners, as well as support from state and federal agencies.

Dr. Topham is an Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, a member of the David H. Smith Center for Vaccine Biology and Immunology, and co-directs the New York Influenza Center of Excellence--one of the six national Centers of Excellence in Influenza Research and Surveillance supported by the National Institutes of Health. He has also served on IBM's Global Pandemic Steering Committee. His research interests are in the area of immune responses to influenza and experimental vaccines, and include computational modeling of the immune system.


Virus infections of the respiratory tract are responsible for a great deal of illness and even death among the world's human population. Influenza, in particular, has a history of causing deadly pandemics and the continuing emergence of highly pathogenic H5 influenzas around the world is reason for concern. It is essential to understand how the immune system clears a virus infection and provides long term immunity if we are to design more rational vaccination and treatment strategies. The lab has a combined program in basic research using animal models of influenza infection and immunity, as well as a translational research program to study human immune responses to influenza infection and vaccination. Within these programs we are investigating the mechanisms that provide optimal immune protection against influenza virus. One particular focus is to understand how T cells are regulated in the environment of the lung tissue and airways. We believe this is the key to generating long-lived protective immunity against diverse influenza viruses, including potential pandemic strains. The concepts and information we gather from the animal models are being directly translated into the human situation. To this end, we have established the New York Influenza Center of Excellence, a robust, collaborative program for basic and translational investigation of influenza virology, pathogenesis, immunology, and vaccines.



BS | University of Vermont

MS | University of Vermont

PhD | University of Vermont
Cellular/Molecular Biology

Post-doctoral Training & Residency

1994 - 1999
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, Department of Immunology (Mentor, Peter C. Doherty)


Sponsor: Nathan Shock Center for the Study of Aging and Development
Location: University of Rochester


Journal Articles

"Broad hemagglutinin-specific memory B cell expansion by seasonal influenza virus infection reflects early-life imprinting and adaptation to the infecting virus." Journal of virology.. 2019 Feb 6; Epub 2019 Feb 06.

Henry C, Zheng NY, Huang M, Cabanov A, Rojas KT, Kaur K, Andrews SF, Palm AE, Chen YQ, Li Y, Hoskova K, Utset HA, Vieira MC, Wrammert J, Ahmed R, Holden-Wiltse J, Topham DJ, Treanor JJ, Ertl HC, Schmader KE, Cobey S, Krammer F, Hensley SE, Greenberg H, He XS, Wilson PC. "Influenza Virus Vaccination Elicits Poorly Adapted B Cell Responses in Elderly Individuals." Cell host & microbe.. 2019 Jan 24; Epub 2019 Jan 24.

Nogales A, Martinez-Sobrido L, Topham DJ, DeDiego ML. "Modulation of Innate Immune Responses by the Influenza A NS1 and PA-X Proteins." Viruses.. 2018 Dec 12; 10(12)Epub 2018 Dec 12.

Books & Chapters

Chapter Title: The Role of VLA-1 in Maintaining Virus-specific T cells in Peripheral Non-lymphoid Tissues
Book Title: Effector Memory T cell Subsets in the Extralymphatic Tissue
Author List: David J. Topham, Timothy R. Chapman, Martin Richter, and Joseph A. Hollenbaugh
Edited By: Ilan Bank
Published By: Research Signpost 2009 in Kerala, India