Janice S. Blum, Ph.D.

Chancellor's Professor of Microbiology & Immunology
Associate Vice Chancellor for Graduate Education IUPUI
Associate Dean for the University Graduate School

Summary of the focus of the research of Dr. Blum 

Immune responsiveness in humans and its role in protective immunity to tumors and pathogens as well as predisposition to autoimmune disease.

Description and summary of research focus of the laboratory

Immune responsiveness in humans and the importance of immunological recognition pathways in protective immunity against tumors and pathogens as well as predisposition to autoimmune disease such as type I diabetes and arthritis. Distinguishing self and foreign antigens is a key step in the development of host immunity. Studies in Dr. Blum's laboratory are directed at understanding how protein antigens are processed for recognition by the immune system, and the events which regulate immune responses to foreign and self proteins.  Studies by Dr. Blum's group focus on cell biology and molecular approaches to examine the pathways guiding protein antigen trafficking, antigen processing and the selection of epitopes for presentation by MHC molecules. Discoveries by the Blum laboratory include work demonstrating the importance a novel thiol reductase GILT and NADPH oxidase MHC-restricted immune recognition, and a role for heat shock proteins and lysosomal membrane proteins in immune recognition by MHC class II molecules.  Studies by the Blum laboratory also have demonstrated endosomal recycling and autophagy are important pathways guiding immune responses.   Studies are on-going to understand how immune deficiency as well as hyper-responsiveness are regulated by these pathways.  These investigators have implications in terms of developing more efficient vaccine reagents specific for pathogens as well as tumors.  Studies by the Blum laboratory also strongly support a role for these pathways in regulating immune responses to autoantigens linked to the development of arthritis and diabetes in humans. Information from these studies is being applied identify new biomarkers for autoimmunity and inflammation, to design and test novel vaccines for promoting immunity to pathogens and tumors, and identify new targets for gene therapy to control immune responsiveness.

  • Crotzer, V.L., Matute, J.D., Arias, A.A., Zhao, H. Quilliam, L.A., Dinauer, M.C and J.S. Blum (2012) Cutting Edge: NADPH Oxidase modulates MHC class II antigen presentation by B cells. J Immunol. 189:3800-4.
  • Blum, J.S., Wearsch, P.A., and P. Cresswell (2013) Pathways of Antigen Processing. Annual Reviews in Immunology 31:443–73.
  • Walline, C.C., Deffit, S.N., Wang, N., Guindon, L.M., Crotzer, V.L., Liu, J., Hollister, K., Eisenlohr, L.C., Brutkiewicz, R.R., Kaplan, M.H., and Blum, J.S. (2013) Virus-Encoded Ectopic CD74 Enhances Poxvirus Vaccine Efficacy. Immunology.  141:531-9.
  • God, J.M., Cameron, C., Figueroa, J., Amria, S., Hossain, A., Kempkes, B., Bornkamm, G.W., Stuart, R.K., Blum, J.S., and A. Haque (2015) Elevation of c-MYC disrupts HLA class II-mediated immune recognition of human B cell tumors. J. Immunol. 194:1434-45.
  • Deffit, S.N., and Blum, J. S. (2015) Macronutrient deprivation modulates antigen trafficking and immune recognition through HSC70 accessibility. J Immunol. 194:1446-53.
  • Fisher, M.M., Watkins, R.A., Blum, J., Evans-Molina, C., Chalasani, N., DiMeglio, L.A., Mather, K.J., Tersey, S.A., and Mirmira, R.G. (2015) Elevations in Circulating Methylated and Unmethylated Preproinsulin DNA in New-Onset Type 1 Diabetes. Diabetes pii: db150430 (in press)
  • Watkins, R.A., Evans-Molina,C., Terrell, J.K., Day, K.H., Guindon, L., Mirmira, R.G., Blum, J.S., L.A. DiMeglio (2015) Evaluation of Beta cell Stress in the Early Post-Diagnosis Period of T1D. Translational Research. pii: S1931-5244(15)00296-0.
  • Deffit, S.N. and J.S. Blum (2015) A Central Role for HSC70 in Regulating Antigen Trafficking and MHC Class II Presentation pii: S0161-5890(15)00366-1. doi: 10.1016/j.molimm.2015.04.007 (in press)
  • McLetchie, S., Volpp, B., Dinauer, M., and Blum, J.S. (2015) Hyper-responsive Toll-like receptor 7 and 9 activation in NADPH oxidase-deficient B lymphoblasts. Immunology doi: 10.1111/imm.12530 (in press).

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  • B.S., 1979: Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA
  • Ph.D., 1984: Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC
  • Post Doctoral, 1984-1987:Duke University Medical Center, Microbiology and Immunology, Durham, NC
  • Post Doctoral, 1987-1990: Washington University School of Medicine, Cell Biology and Physiology, St. Louis, MO

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