Skip to main content
Explore URMC

Felix O. Yarovinsky, M.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Office: (585) 273-5647

Research Labs

Faculty Appointments


Felix Yarovinsky is a professor in the Center for Vaccine Biology and Immunology and the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.

Felix Yarovinsky obtained his M.D. from Russian State Medical University, followed by postdoctoral training at the US National Institutes of Health.

His research interests focus on the innate host responses to parasitic infections and immunoregulatory mechanisms controlling inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.


The goal of my laboratory is to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms that account for host resistance to protozoan parasites. We seek to decipher how innate immune cells cooperate in the regulation of IFN-gamma responses to the infection.

Expertise within my laboratory includes: innate immune cell biology, Toll-like receptors, mouse models of innate immune deficiencies, and the regulation of inflammatory responses by the innate immune system.

Our approach has been multidisciplinary, ranging from the creation of new mouse models with altered innate immune functions, to detailed biochemical and structural analyses of TLRs involved in recognition of protozoan parasites. The innovative use of cell type-specific ablation of the TLR/IL-1R adaptor protein MyD88 using the Cre-lox system has allowed us to dissect the mechanism by which innate immune cell collaborate to kill Toxoplasma organisms and to restrict their expansion, which is necessary to achieve protection from infection (PNAS, 2011; Nature Immunology, 2013). In a paper published in The Journal of Biological Chemistry in 2011 we established that TLR11, a protozoan protein sensor, has an intracellular localization that is controlled by a chaperone protein, Unc93B1. More recently (PNAS, 2013; Infection & Immunity, 2014; JI, 2015), we revealed that IFN-gamma can be produced by neutrophils. This is a major finding since neutrophils are the most numerous immune cell type. Our results revealed a new arm in innate immunity that addresses many basic and medically important questions in the field.

Our recent studies comparing T. gondii infected gnotobiotic (germ-free) animals to conventional mice have established that the immunostimulatory signals induced by commensal bacteria have major effects on the outcomes of the parasitic infections (Cell Host & Microbe, 2009, Nature Immunology, 2013). We are particular interested in understanding how the intestinal microbiota regulates host defense, tissue immunity and inflammation.


Journal Articles

Araujo A, Safronova A, Burger E, López-Yglesias A, Giri S, Camanzo ET, Martin AT, Grivennikov S, Yarovinsky F. "IFN-? mediates Paneth cell death via suppression of mTOR." eLife.. 2021 Oct 11; 10Epub 2021 Oct 11.

López-Yglesias AH, Burger E, Camanzo E, Martin AT, Araujo AM, Kwok SF, Yarovinsky F. "T-bet-dependent ILC1- and NK cell-derived IFN-? mediates cDC1-dependent host resistance against Toxoplasma gondii." PLoS pathogens.. 2021 Jan 19; 17(1):e1008299. Epub 2021 Jan 19.

Coombs RS, Blank ML, English ED, Adomako-Ankomah Y, Urama IS, Martin AT, Yarovinsky F, Boyle JP. "Immediate interferon gamma induction determines murine host compatibility differences between and ." Infection and immunity.. 2020 Feb 3; Epub 2020 Feb 03.