PHILADELPHIA — E. John Wherry, PhD, associate professor of Microbiology, has been named the new Director of the Institute for Immunology (IFI), at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. The Penn Institute for Immunology was established in 2009 to provide an administrative and programmatic structure to unify the basic, translational, and clinical immunology communities across the University.
The Institute’s primary mission is to establish new interactions and synergistic collaborations that will accelerate innovative discoveries and to apply findings within the basic sciences to clinically-translatable approaches. Its membership now includes more than 160 faculty members from 23 departments across five schools as well as representation from CHOP and the Wistar Institute.
“The Institute for Immunology at Penn is designed to capitalize on our strengths in the basic and translational immunology of inflammation, autoimmunity, cancer, transplantation and infection and to catalyze the next steps in basic science discovery, translational research and clinical treatment of immune-related diseases,” says Wherry. “The IFI will foster cross-disciplinary interactions with other centers and institutes to keep Penn at the forefront of immunology research and treatment.”
Wherry’s research focuses on T-cell memory, host-pathogen interactions and immunity to persisting infections in model systems and in humans. In particular, his laboratory has been at the forefront of defining the molecular and regulatory control of T-cell exhaustion and immune dysfunction that occurs during chronic infections and cancer.
He has been recognized as one of the most highly cited investigators in his field by Thomson/ISI, as one of America’s Young Innovators by Smithsonian magazine and serves on numerous scientific advisory panels and editorial boards including The Journal of Experimental Medicine, PLoS Pathogens, The Journal of Immunology and The Journal of Leukocyte Biology.