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Angus Thomson Ph.D.

  • Distinguished Professor, Department of Surgery
  • Distinguished Professor, Department of Immunology
  • Program Director, NIAID T32 Research Training Grant in Transplantation Biology
  • PMI Graduate Faculty

    Education & Training

  • DSc(Med), University of Birmingham
  • Doctor of Science (DSc), University of Aberdeen
  • Ph.D. (Immunology), University of Aberdeen
  • MSc (Immunology), University of Birmingham
  • BSc(Hons), University of Aberdeen
Representative Publications

     Ono, Y., A. Perez-Gutierrez, T. Nakao, H. Dai, G. Camirand, O. Yoshida, S. Yokota, D. B. Stolz, M. A. Ross, A. E. Morelli, D. A. Geller, and A. W. Thomson. 2018. Graft-infiltrating PD-L1(hi) cross-dressed dendritic cells regulate antidonor T cell responses in mouse liver transplant tolerance. Hepatology 67: 1499-1515.

2.         Watson, A. R., H. Dai, J. A. Diaz-Perez, M. E. Killeen, A. R. Mathers, and A. W. Thomson. 2018. mTORC2 deficiency in cutaneous dendritic cells potentiates CD8(+) effector T cell responses and accelerates skin graft rejection. Am J Transplant In press.

3.         Fantus, D., N. M. Rogers, F. Grahammer, T. B. Huber, and A. W. Thomson. 2016. Roles of mTOR complexes in the kidney: implications for renal disease and transplantation. Nature reviews. Nephrology 12: 587-609.

4.         Yoshida, O., S. Kimura, L. Dou, B. M. Matta, S. Yokota, M. A. Ross, D. A. Geller, and A. W. Thomson. 2014. DAP12 deficiency in liver allografts results in enhanced donor DC migration, augmented effector T cell responses and abrogation of transplant tolerance. Am J Transplant 14: 1791-1805.

5.         Rosborough, B. R., D. Raich-Regue, B. M. Matta, K. Lee, B. Gan, R. A. DePinho, H. Hackstein, M. Boothby, H. R. Turnquist, and A. W. Thomson. 2013. Murine dendritic cell rapamycin-resistant and rictor-independent mTOR controls IL-10, B7-H1, and regulatory T-cell induction. Blood 121: 3619-3630.

6.         Ezzelarab, M. B., A. F. Zahorchak, L. Lu, A. E. Morelli, G. Chalasani, A. J. Demetris, F. G. Lakkis, M. Wijkstrom, N. Murase, A. Humar, R. Shapiro, D. K. Cooper, and A. W. Thomson. 2013. Regulatory dendritic cell infusion prolongs kidney allograft survival in nonhuman primates. Am J Transplant 13: 1989-2005.

7.         Matta, B. M., G. Raimondi, B. R. Rosborough, T. L. Sumpter, and A. W. Thomson. 2012. IL-27 production and STAT3-dependent upregulation of B7-H1 mediate immune regulatory functions of liver plasmacytoid dendritic cells. J. Immunol. 188: 5227-5237.

8.         Stenger, E. O., H. R. Turnquist, M. Y. Mapara, and A. W. Thomson. 2012. Dendritic cells and regulation of graft-versus-host disease and graft-versus-leukemia activity. Blood 119: 5088-5103.

9.         Turnquist, H. R., Z. Zhao, B. R. Rosborough, Q. Liu, A. Castellaneta, K. Isse, Z. Wang, M. Lang, D. B. Stolz, X. X. Zheng, A. J. Demetris, F. Y. Liew, K. J. Wood, and A. W. Thomson. 2011. IL-33 expands suppressive CD11b+ Gr-1(int) and regulatory T cells, including ST2L+ Foxp3+ cells, and mediates regulatory T cell-dependent promotion of cardiac allograft survival. J. Immunol. 187: 4598-4610.

10.       Sumpter, T. L., V. Packiam, H. R. Turnquist, A. Castellaneta, O. Yoshida, and A. W. Thomson. 2011. DAP12 promotes IRAK-M expression and IL-10 production by liver myeloid dendritic cells and restrains their T cell allostimulatory ability. J. Immunol. 186: 1970-1980.

11.       Thomson, A. W., and P. A. Knolle. 2010. Antigen-presenting cell function in the tolerogenic liver environment. Nat Rev Immunol 10: 753-766.

12.       Raimondi, G., T. L. Sumpter, B. M. Matta, M. Pillai, N. Corbitt, Y. Vodovotz, Z. Wang, and A. W. Thomson. 2010. Mammalian target of rapamycin inhibition and alloantigen-specific regulatory T cells synergize to promote long-term graft survival in immunocompetent recipients. J. Immunol. 184: 624-636.

13.       Turnquist, H. R., J. Cardinal, C. Macedo, B. R. Rosborough, T. L. Sumpter, D. A. Geller, D. Metes, and A. W. Thomson. 2010. mTOR and GSK-3 shape the CD4+ T cell stimulatory and differentiation capacity of myeloid DC following exposure to LPS. Blood 115: 4758-4769.

14.       Turnquist, H., G. Raimondi, A. F. Zahorchak, R. T. Fischer, Z. Wang, and A. W. Thomson. 2007. Rapamycin-conditioned dendritic cells are poor stimulators of allogeneic CD4+ T cells, but enrich for antigen-specific Foxp3+ T regulatory cells and promote organ transplant tolerance. J. Immunol. 178: 7018-7031.

15.       Morelli, A. E., and A. W. Thomson. 2007. Tolerogenic dendritic cells and the quest for transplant tolerance. Nat Rev Immunol 7: 610-621.

16.       Larregina, A. T., A. E. Morelli, L. A. Spencer, A. J. Logar, S. C. Watkins, A. W. Thomson, and L. D. Falo, Jr. 2001. Dermal-resident CD14+ cells differentiate into Langerhans cells. Nat Immunol 2: 1151-1158.

17.       Antonysamy, M. A., W. C. Fanslow, F. Fu, W. Li, S. Qian, A. B. Troutt, and A. W. Thomson. 1999. Evidence for a role of IL-17 in organ allograft rejection: IL-17 promotes the functional differentiation of dendritic cell progenitors. J. Immunol. 162: 577-584.

18.       Lu, L., W. Li, F. Fu, F. G. Chambers, S. Qian, J. J. Fung, and A. W. Thomson. 1997. Blockade of the CD40-CD40 ligand pathway potentiates the capacity of donor-derived dendritic cell progenitors to induce long-term cardiac allograft survival. Transplantation 64: 1808-1815.

19.       Lu, L., W. A. Rudert, S. Qian, D. McCaslin, F. Fu, A. S. Rao, M. Trucco, J. J. Fung, T. E. Starzl, and A. W. Thomson. 1995. Growth of donor-derived dendritic cells from the bone marrow of murine liver allograft recipients in response to granulocyte/macrophage colony stimulating factor. J. Exp. Med. 182: 379-387.

20.       Lu, L., J. Woo, A. S. Rao, Y. Li, S. C. Watkins, S. Qian, T. E. Starzl, A. J. Demetris, and A. W. Thomson. 1994. Propagation of dendritic cell progenitors from normal mouse liver using granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor and their maturational development in the presence of type-1 collagen. J. Exp. Med. 179: 1823-1834.

Complete List of Publications

Research Interests
  • Dendritic cells, rapamycin and transplant tolerance
  • Understanding the role of dendritic cells in liver transplant tolerance
  • Transitioning regulatory DC from the laboratory to the clinic

Our NIH-funded research focuses primarily on regulation of dendritic cell function and the interaction of dendritic cells with T cells to promote immune tolerance, particularly in the context of organ transplantation. We are interested in molecular mechanisms/pathways that promote dendritic cell tolerogenicity and in innovative therapeutic approaches that target dendritic cells to promote their tolerogenicity or use dendritic cells as negative cellular vaccines to improve long-term outcomes in clinical organ transplantation. Our research is (1) basic, using both in vitro cell culture systems and small animal organ transplant models (liver, heart, skin), (2) translational, using clinically-relevant large animal organ transplant models, and (3) clinical, in collaboration with Starzl Transplant Institute clinicians, to translate novel regulatory immune cell therapy approach to organ transplantation with a focus on liver and kidney transplantation. 

We also have an active interest in regulatory T cell (Treg) immunobiology as it relates to the promotion of antigen-specific tolerance. NIH-supported research projects are testing the potential of alloAg-specific Treg to promote transplant tolerance in clinically-relevant transplant models and in collaboration with colleagues in other departments, the therapeutic potential of Treg in other inflammatory and immune-mediated disorders.