Joseph Edgar Craft MD

Paul B. Beeson Professor of Medicine (Rheumatology) and Professor of Immunobiology; Section Chief, Rheumatology; Program Director, Investigative Medicine; Paul B. Beeson Professor of Medicine

Research Interests

Autoimmunity; Cytokines; Lupus; T Cell Differentiation; Tolerance

Current Projects

Ongoing studies are targeted towards identification of the developmental pathways of CD4 T cells that provide B cell help and that promote inflammation, and dissection of their potential to promote autoimmunity and inflammation.

Research Summary

We have a longstanding interest in dissecting the pathogenesis of systemic autoimmunity, focusing upon the activation and differentiation of CD4 T effector cell subsets in mice and in humans. Our lab has characterized CD4 T cells that help B cells in murine models of lupus and in conventional immune responses, with the idea that information gleaned from the latter studies could be applied to our understanding of autoimmunity. In recent work, we have begun to define the transcription factors critical for the development and function of CD4 T cells that help B cells, with ongoing studies aimed at further investigating these cells developmentally, and dissecting the mechanisms that lead to their effector function in autoimmunity and inflammation.

Selected Publications

  • Shulman Z, Gitlin AD, Weinstein JS, Lainez B, Esplugues E, Flavell RA, Craft J, Nuzzenzweig M. T follicular helper cell Ca2+ signaling during B cell selection in germinal centers. Science. 2014. 345:1058-1062.
  • Ray JP, Marshall HD, Laidlaw BJ, Staron MW, Kaech SM, Craft J. The Transcription Factor STAT3 and Type I Interferons Are Mutually Repressive Insulators for Differentiation of Follicular Helper and T Helper 1 Cells. 2014 Immunity 40:367-377. NIHMS 570364 [PMCID in process].
  • Laidlaw BJ, Zhang N, Marshall HD, Staron MM, Guan T, Hu Y, Cauley LS, Craft J*, Kaech SM*. CD4+ T cell help and transcription factor T-bet mediated repression of CD103 is critical for lung resident memory CD8+ T cell formation. Immunity (in press) (*co-senior and co-corresponding authors).
  • Weinstein J, Bertino SA, Hernandez SG, Poholek AC, Teplitzky TB, Nowyhed HN, Craft J. B cells in T Follicular Helper Cell Development and Function: Separable Roles in Delivery of ICOS Ligand and Antigen. J Immunol. 2014 192:3166-79. NIHMS 562781 [PMCID in process].
  • Kumamoto Y, Lineham M, Weinstein J, Laidlaw B, Craft J, Iwasaki A. CD301b+ dermal dendritic cells drive TH2 immunity. Immunity 2013. 39:733-743. PMCID: PMC3819035
  • Choi JY, Kim ST, Craft J. The pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus: An Update. Curr Opin Immunol. 2012. 24:651-657. 10.1016/j.coi.2012.10.004. PMCID: PMC3508331 [Available on 2013/12/1].
  • Bertino SA and Craft J. Roquin Paralogs Add a New Dimension to ICOS Regulation. Immunity 2013 38:624-6. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2013.03.007. PMID: 23601678 [PubMed - in process]
  • Craft J. Follicular helper T cells in immunity and in systemic autoimmunity. Nature Rev Rheum 8:337-47, 2012. PMCID: PMC3604997
  • Marshall HD, Chandele A, Jung YW, Meng H, Poholek AC, Parish IA, Rutishauser R, Cui W, Kleinstein SH, Craft J, Kaech SM. Differential expression of Ly6C and T-bet distinguish effector and memory Th1 CD4(+) cell properties during viral infection. Immunity 35:633-646, 2011. PMCID: PMC3444169
  • Weinstein JS, Hernandez SG, Craft J. T cells that promote B cell maturation in systemic autoimmunity. Immunol Rev 247:160-71, 2012. PMCID: PMC2110203


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