Erin J. Adams, PhD

Our laboratory is interested in the molecular signals that are used by the immune system to distinguish healthy from unhealthy tissue. Many of our projects focus on “unconventional” T cell recognition, involving γδ T cells, Natural Killer T cells and Muscosal-Associated Invariant T (MAIT) cells and antigen presentation by nonclassical or MHC-like proteins. Our strengths are in biochemistry, structural biology, protein engineering and cellular assays that will reveal the fundamental principles behind how effector cells of the immune system regulate human disease. We have a high level of expertise in studying molecular recognition of T cells, particularly unconventional T cells outside the canonical CD4+/CD8+ lineage and structure function of antigen-presenting molecules.

Stanford University
Stanford, CA
Postdoc - Molecular Immunology
2005

UC Berkeley
Berkeley, CA
PhD - Evolutionary Genetics
2001

UC San Diego
La Jolla, CA
BS - Animal Physiology and Neuroscience
1993

Multiple Isomers of Photolumazine V Bind MR1 and Differentially Activate MAIT Cells.
Multiple Isomers of Photolumazine V Bind MR1 and Differentially Activate MAIT Cells. J Immunol. 2024 Jan 26.
PMID: 38275935

MFG-E8: a model of multiple binding modes associated with ps-binding proteins.
MFG-E8: a model of multiple binding modes associated with ps-binding proteins. Eur Phys J E Soft Matter. 2023 Nov 24; 46(11):114.
PMID: 37999806

Biochemical and biophysical characterization of natural polyreactivity in antibodies.
Biochemical and biophysical characterization of natural polyreactivity in antibodies. Cell Rep. 2023 10 31; 42(10):113190.
PMID: 37804505

?d T cell explorations seek terra firma.
?d T cell explorations seek terra firma. Nat Immunol. 2023 Oct; 24(10):1606-1609.
PMID: 37749327

CRISPR screens decode cancer cell pathways that trigger ?d T cell detection.
CRISPR screens decode cancer cell pathways that trigger ?d T cell detection. Nature. 2023 Sep; 621(7977):188-195.
PMID: 37648854

Ligand-induced segregation from large cell-surface phosphatases is a critical step in ?d TCR triggering.
Ligand-induced segregation from large cell-surface phosphatases is a critical step in ?d TCR triggering. bioRxiv. 2023 Aug 24.
PMID: 37662246

Deaza-modification of MR1 ligands modulates recognition by MR1-restricted T cells.
Deaza-modification of MR1 ligands modulates recognition by MR1-restricted T cells. Sci Rep. 2022 12 29; 12(1):22539.
PMID: 36581641

The molecular characterization of antibody binding to a superantigen-like protein from a commensal microbe.
The molecular characterization of antibody binding to a superantigen-like protein from a commensal microbe. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 09 28; 118(39).
PMID: 34548394

How Tim proteins differentially exploit membrane features to attain robust target sensitivity.
How Tim proteins differentially exploit membrane features to attain robust target sensitivity. Biophys J. 2021 11 02; 120(21):4891-4902.
PMID: 34529946

Molecular design of the ?dT cell receptor ectodomain encodes biologically fit ligand recognition in the absence of mechanosensing.
Molecular design of the ?dT cell receptor ectodomain encodes biologically fit ligand recognition in the absence of mechanosensing. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 06 29; 118(26).
PMID: 34172580

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Joseph Regenstein Professorship
UChicago
2016 - pres

Searle Scholar
UChicago
2007 - 2010

Cancer Research Institute Postdoc Fellow
Stanford University
2001 - 2004

Phi Beta Kappa
UC San Diego
1993

Graduate Cum Laude
UC San Diego
1993