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FACULTY PROFILE STYLESHEET: do not remove this block

Juliana Idoyaga, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Molecular Biology

Research Interests

The goal of our research program is to design the next generation of therapeutic approaches through a mechanistic understanding of dendritic cells (DCs). DCs are key immune cells that act as “commanders” of the immune system given their unique capacity to initiate and modulate T cell-mediated immune responses. Consequently, therapeutic strategies that harness DC function have the potential to succeed. Unfortunately, we still lack a fundamental understanding of DC biology, which poses an impediment for therapeutic design. The immediate objective of our research program is to dissect the mechanisms used by DCs to mount different types of immune responses: cancer, infections and tolerance. Our research program relies upon the integration of diverse approaches to study human and mouse DCs in parallel. These approaches include transcriptomic, proteomic and epigenomic (-omics) approaches to analyze DC heterogeneity; application of clinically relevant therapeutic approaches in animal models; standardized tools to study DC function in vivo, ex vivo (i.e., tissue-derived material) and in vitro; and genetically modified mouse models for the specific and transient depletion of DCs. Our ongoing efforts are focused in five fundamental areas of DC biology: (1) origin and function of emerging DC subsets; (2) global transcriptomic control of DC function; (3) functional specialization of tissue DCs; (4) DC contribution to diverse immune responses in human. Importantly, our pursuit of foundational principles of DC function is driven by our desire to lead the field to the most promising biomedical applications that harness these cells, as illustrated in the (5) area of active research: investigating DC function during cancer therapeutics. Altogether, our work uncovers the DC network at a level of resolution that will aid clinical translation.



Selected Publications

Sulczewski F.B., Maqueda-Alfaro R.A., Alcántara-Hernández M., Perez O.A., Saravanan S., Yun T.J., Seong D., Arroyo Hornero R., Raquer-McKay H.M., Esteva E., Lanzar Z.R., Leylek R.A., Adams N.M., Das A., Rahman A.H., Gottfried-Blackmore A., Reizis B., Idoyaga J. Transitional dendritic cells are distinct from conventional DC2 precursors and mediate proinflammatory antiviral responses. Nat. Immunol. 2023. Aug;24(8):1265- 1280.

Tadepalli S., Clements D.R., Saravanan S., Arroyo Hornero R., Lüdtke A., Blackmore B., Paulo J.A., Gottfried-Blackmore A., Seong D., Park S., Chan L., Kopecky B.J., Liu Z., Ginhoux F., Lavine K.J., Murphy J.P., Mack M., Graves E.E., Idoyaga J. Rapid recruitment and IFN-I-mediated activation of monocytes dictate focal radiotherapy efficacy. Sci. Immunol. 2023. Jun 2;8(84):eadd7446. PMCID: PMC10340791

Arroyo Hornero R, Idoyaga J. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells: A dendritic cell in disguise. Mol. Immunol. 2023. Jul;159:38-45.

Reizis B, Idoyaga J, Dalod M, Barrat F, Naik S, Trinchieri G, Tussiwand R, Cella M, Colonna M. Reclassification of plasmacytoid dendritic cells as innate lymphocytes is premature. Nat. Rev. Immunol. 2023. May;23(5):336-337

Alcántara-Hernández M. and Idoyaga J. Mass cytometry profiling of human dendritic cells in blood and tissues. Nat. Protocol. 2021. Oct; 16(10): 4855-4877.

Leylek R., Alcántara-Hernández M., Granja J.M., Chavez M., Perez K., Diaz O.R., Li R., Satpathy A.T., Chang H.Y., Idoyaga J. Chromatin landscape underpinning human dendritic cell heterogeneity. Cell Reports. 2020. Sep 22;32(12):108180. PMCID: PMC7546547

Leylek R., Alcántara-Hernández M., Lanzar Z., Lüdtke A., Perez O.A., Reizis B., Idoyaga J. Integrated cross-species analysis identifies a conserved transitional dendritic cell population. Cell Reports. 2019. Dec 10; 29(11):3736-3750e8. PMCID: PMC6951814.

Alcántara-Hernández M., Leylek R., Wagar L., Engleman E.G., Keler T., Marinkovich M.P., Davis M.M., Nolan G.P., Idoyaga J. High-dimensional phenotypic mapping of human dendritic cells reveals interindividual variation and tissue specialization. Immunity. 2017. Dec. 19;47:1037-1050. PMCID: PMC5738280.

Idoyaga J. Fiorese C., Zbytnuik L., Lubkin A., Miller J., Malissen B., Mucida D., Merad M., Steinman R.M. Specialized Role of Migratory Dendritic Cells in Peripheral Tolerance Induction. J. Clin. Invest. 2013 Feb 1; 123(2):844-854. PMID: 23298832

See All Publications



Cancer Biology
Immunology, Inflammation, & Infectious Diseases


Integrative Multi-Omics
Signaling & Molecular Pharmacology
Systems and Computational Biology Program