Photo of Ulrich H. von Andrian,  MD

Ulrich H. von Andrian, MD

Harvard Medical School

Harvard Medical School
Phone: (617) 432-6827
Fax: (617) 432-6829

Ulrich H. von Andrian, MD

Harvard Medical School


  • Edward Mallinckrodt Jr. Professor of Immunopathology, Microbiology and Immunobiology, Harvard Medical School
  • Senior Investigator, von Andrian Lab, Boston Children's Hospital


Research Abstract

My research seeks answers to the question how circulating blood cells find their way in the body. Directed migration of blood-borne cells to distinct target tissues can be observed in embryos as soon as the circulatory system is established and plays a critical role throughout life in numerous physiologic and pathologic conditions. Despite considerable progress in this field, it is still beyond the reach of even the most sophisticated in vitro methodology to simulate the complex interplay of physical, cellular, biochemical, and other factors that determine blood cell behavior in microvessels. Therefore, we employ intravital microscopy to study the molecular mechanisms of interactions between blood cells and the vascular wall by direct observation in anesthetized mice. Using this approach, we have demonstrated that blood cell homing to most target tissues requires an initial tethering step that leads to rolling in postcapillary venules and is followed by an activation step which, in turn, triggers stationary adhesion and emigration. Each of these three steps (i.e. 1. rolling; 2. chemotactic stimulation; and 3. firm arrest) involves distinct molecular pathways whose unique combination is the reason why certain blood cells migrate to a particular organ, whereas others don't.

We are now dissecting the site-specific adhesion cascades that direct myeloid and lymphoid cells, hematopoietic stem cells and platelets to normal and diseased tissues. We have established models in mice that allow quantitative observations in Peyer's patches; gut; bladder; striated muscle; skin; pancreas; liver; knee joint; bone marrow; bone; and peripheral lymph nodes. The techniques for observing the latter three tissues were developed in my laboratory.

Understanding how lymphocytes, in particular T cells, home to and migrate within peripheral lymph nodes is a major focus of my group. To this end, we are using a panel of mice that are genetically deficient in specific adhesion pathways. We have also generated transgenic mouse strains that express fluorescent proteins in distinct T cell subsets. We are using these mice to study how T cells differentiate into effector and memory subsets; how this differentiation affects their migratory properties; and how antigen-presenting dendritic cells influence these processes. T cells and dendritic cells can be visualized in the intra- and extravascular space by intravital microscopy using both single- and multi-photon fluorescence techniques. This allows us to dissect the trafficking behavior of these immune cells at a resolution and specificity that could not be achieved with other methods.

Besides supervising and instructing the students and fellows in my laboratory (15-20 members), my current teaching activities include the co-direction and organization of the Immunology 201 and Immunology 202 semester courses for HMS graduate students. In addition, we have numerous collaborators in the Harvard community and elsewhere who perform intravital microscopy studies in our facility under my supervision. I also lecture regularly to HMS graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and staff about leukocyte adhesion, migration and homing.


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  • Gerlach C, Loughhead SM, von Andrian UH. Figuring fact from fiction: unbiased polling of memory T cells. Cell 2015; 161:702-4. PubMed
  • Maldonado RA, LaMothe RA, Ferrari JD, Zhang AH, Rossi RJ, Kolte PN, Griset AP, O'Neil C, Altreuter DH, Browning E, Johnston L, Farokhzad OC, Langer R, Scott DW, von Andrian UH, Kishimoto TK. Polymeric synthetic nanoparticles for the induction of antigen-specific immunological tolerance. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2015; 112:E156-65. PubMed
  • Sharei A, Trifonova R, Jhunjhunwala S, Hartoularos GC, Eyerman AT, Lytton-Jean A, Angin M, Sharma S, Poceviciute R, Mao S, Heimann M, Liu S, Talkar T, Khan OF, Addo M, von Andrian UH, Anderson DG, Langer R, Lieberman J, Jensen KF. Ex vivo cytosolic delivery of functional macromolecules to immune cells. PLoS ONE 2015; 10:e0118803. PubMed
  • Lynch L, Michelet X, Zhang S, Brennan PJ, Moseman A, Lester C, Besra G, Vomhof-Dekrey EE, Tighe M, Koay HF, Godfrey DI, Leadbetter EA, Sant'Angelo DB, von Andrian U, Brenner MB. Regulatory iNKT cells lack expression of the transcription factor PLZF and control the homeostasis of T(reg) cells and macrophages in adipose tissue. Nat Immunol 2014; 16:85-95. PubMed
  • Sage PT, Alvarez D, Godec J, von Andrian UH, Sharpe AH. Circulating T follicular regulatory and helper cells have memory-like properties. J Clin Invest 2014; 124:5191-204. PubMed
  • Choi WI, Kamaly N, Riol-Blanco L, Lee IH, Wu J, Swami A, Vilos C, Yameen B, Yu M, Shi J, Tabas I, von Andrian UH, Jon S, Farokhzad OC. A Solvent-Free Thermosponge Nanoparticle Platform for Efficient Delivery of Labile Proteins. Nano Lett 2014. PubMed
  • Textor J, Henrickson SE, Mandl JN, von Andrian UH, Westermann J, de Boer RJ, Beltman JB. Random migration and signal integration promote rapid and robust T cell recruitment. PLoS Comput. Biol. 2014; 10:e1003752. PubMed
  • Dahlman JE, Barnes C, Khan O, Thiriot A, Jhunjunwala S, Shaw TE, Xing Y, Sager HB, Sahay G, Speciner L, Bader A, Bogorad RL, Yin H, Racie T, Dong Y, Jiang S, Seedorf D, Dave A, Sandu KS, Webber MJ, Novobrantseva T, Ruda VM, Lytton-Jean AK, Levins CG, Kalish B, Mudge DK, Perez M, Abezgauz L, Dutta P, Smith L, Charisse K, Kieran MW, Fitzgerald K, Nahrendorf M, Danino D, Tuder RM, von Andrian UH, Akinc A, Panigrahy D, Schroeder A, Kotelianski V, Langer R, Anderson DG. In vivo endothelial siRNA delivery using polymeric nanoparticles with low molecular weight. Nat Nanotechnol 2014. PubMed
  • Riol-Blanco L, Ordovas-Montanes J, Perro M, Naval E, Thiriot A, Alvarez D, Wood JN, von Andrian UH. Nociceptive sensory neurons drive interleukin-23-mediated psoriasiform skin inflammation. Nature 2014. PubMed
  • Kumar L, Chou J, Yee CS, Borzutzky A, Vollmann EH, von Andrian UH, Park SY, Hollander G, Manis JP, Poliani PL, Geha RS. Leucine-rich repeat containing 8A (LRRC8A) is essential for T lymphocyte development and function. J Exp Med 2014. PubMed
  • Ilyinskii PO, Roy CJ, O'Neil CP, Browning EA, Pittet LA, Altreuter DH, Alexis F, Tonti E, Shi J, Basto PA, Iannacone M, Radovic-Moreno AF, Langer RS, Farokhzad OC, von Andrian UH, Johnston LP, Kishimoto TK. Adjuvant-carrying synthetic vaccine particles augment the immune response to encapsulated antigen and exhibit strong local immune activation without inducing systemic cytokine release. Vaccine 2014. PubMed
  • Krause DS, Lazarides K, Lewis JB, von Andrian UH, Van Etten RA. Selectins and their ligands are required for homing and engraftment of BCR-ABL1+ leukemic stem cells in the bone marrow niche. Blood 2014; 123:1361-71. PubMed
  • Henrickson SE, Perro M, Loughhead SM, Senman B, Stutte S, Quigley M, Alexe G, Iannacone M, Flynn MP, Omid S, Jesneck JL, Imam S, Mempel TR, Mazo IB, Haining WN, von Andrian UH. Antigen availability determines CD8竅コ T cell-dendritic cell interaction kinetics and memory fate decisions. Immunity 2013; 39:496-507. PubMed
  • Gerlach C, Thiriot A, von Andrian UH. Of origins and pedigrees: lineage tracing of dendritic cells. Cell 2013; 154:720-2. PubMed
  • Majewska-Szczepanik M, Paust S, von Andrian UH, Askenase PW, Szczepanik M. Nk Cell Mediated Contact Sensitivity Develops Rapidly And Depends On Ifn-Α, Ifn-Γ And Il-12. Immunology 2013. PubMed
  • Wang C, Yi T, Qin L, Maldonado RA, von Andrian UH, Kulkarni S, Tellides G, Pober JS. Rapamycin-treated human endothelial cells preferentially activate allogeneic regulatory T cells. J Clin Invest 2013; 123:1677-93. PubMed
  • Sperandio M, Quackenbush EJ, Sushkova N, Altstätter J, Nussbaum C, Schmid S, Pruenster M, Kurz A, Margraf A, Steppner A, Schweiger N, Borsig L, Boros I, Krajewski N, Genzel-Boroviczeny O, Jeschke U, Frommhold D, von Andrian UH. Ontogenetic regulation of leukocyte recruitment in mouse yolk sac vessels. Blood 2013. PubMed
  • Nussbaum C, Gloning A, Pruenster M, Frommhold D, Bierschenk S, Genzel-Boroviczény O, von Andrian UH, Quackenbush E, Sperandio M. Neutrophil and endothelial adhesive function during human fetal ontogeny. J Leukoc Biol 2013; 93:175-84. PubMed
  • Groom JR, Richmond J, Murooka TT, Sorensen EW, Sung JH, Bankert K, von Andrian UH, Moon JJ, Mempel TR, Luster AD. CXCR3 chemokine receptor-ligand interactions in the lymph node optimize CD4+ T helper 1 cell differentiation. Immunity 2012; 37:1091-103. PubMed
  • Zhang L, Orban M, Lorenz M, Barocke V, Braun D, Urtz N, Schulz C, von Brühl ML, Tirniceriu A, Gaertner F, Proia RL, Graf T, Bolz SS, Montanez E, Prinz M, Müller A, von Baumgarten L, Billich A, Sixt M, Fässler R, von Andrian UH, Junt T, Massberg S. A novel role of sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor S1pr1 in mouse thrombopoiesis. J Exp Med 2012; 209:2165-81. PubMed
  • Sung JH, Zhang H, Moseman EA, Alvarez D, Iannacone M, Henrickson SE, de la Torre JC, Groom JR, Luster AD, von Andrian UH. Chemokine guidance of central memory T cells is critical for antiviral recall responses in lymph nodes. Cell 2012; 150:1249-63. PubMed
  • Thomas GM, Carbo C, Curtis BR, Martinod K, Mazo IB, Schatzberg D, Cifuni SM, Fuchs TA, von Andrian UH, Hartwig JH, Aster RH, Wagner DD. Extracellular DNA traps are associated with the pathogenesis of TRALI in humans and mice. Blood 2012; 119:6335-43. PubMed
  • Allen SJ, Hamrah P, Gate DM, Mott KR, Mantopoulos D, Zheng L, Town T, Jones C, von Andrian UH, Freeman GJ, Sharpe AH, Benmohamed L, Ahmed R, Wechsler SL, Ghiasi H. The role of LAT in increased CD8+ T cell exhaustion in trigeminal ganglia of mice latently infected with herpes simplex virus type 1. J Virol 2011. PubMed
  • Paust S, Gill HS, Wang BZ, Flynn MP, Moseman EA, Senman B, Szczepanik M, Telenti A, Askenase PW, Compans RW, von Andrian UH. Critical role for the chemokine receptor CXCR6 in NK cell-mediated antigen-specific memory of haptens and viruses. Nat Immunol 2010; 11:1127-35. PubMed
  • Bao X, Moseman EA, Saito H, Petryanik B, Thiriot A, Hatakeyama S, Ito Y, Kawashima H, Yamaguchi Y, Lowe JB, von Andrian UH, Fukuda M. Endothelial heparan sulfate controls chemokine presentation in recruitment of lymphocytes and dendritic cells to lymph nodes. Immunity 2010; 33:817-29. PubMed
  • Boscacci RT, Pfeiffer F, Gollmer K, Checa Sevilla AI, Martin AM, Soriano SF, Natale D, Henrickson S, von Andrian UH, Fukui Y, Mellado M, Deutsch U, Engelhardt B, Stein JV. Comprehensive analysis of lymph node stroma-expressed Ig superfamily members reveals redundant and non-redundant roles for ICAM-1, ICAM-2, and VCAM-1 in lymphocyte homing. Blood 2010; 116:915-25. PubMed
  • Iannacone M, Moseman EA, Tonti E, Bosurgi L, Junt T, Henrickson SE, Whelan SP, Guidotti LG, von Andrian UH. Subcapsular sinus macrophages prevent CNS invasion on peripheral infection with a neurotropic virus. Nature 2010; 465:1079-83. PubMed
  • Paust S, Senman B, von Andrian UH. Adaptive immune responses mediated by natural killer cells. Immunol Rev 2010; 235:286-96. PubMed
  • Park EJ, Peixoto A, Imai Y, Goodarzi A, Cheng G, Carman CV, von Andrian UH, Shimaoka M. Distinct roles for LFA-1 affinity regulation during T-cell adhesion, diapedesis, and interstitial migration in lymph nodes. Blood 2010; 115:1572-81. PubMed
  • Mamo T, Moseman EA, Kolishetti N, Salvador-Morales C, Shi J, Kuritzkes DR, Langer R, von Andrian U, Farokhzad OC. Emerging nanotechnology approaches for HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention. Nanomed 2010; 5:269-85. PubMed
  • Wolf K, Alexander S, Schacht V, Coussens LM, von Andrian UH, van Rheenen J, Deryugina E, Friedl P. Collagen-based cell migration models in vitro and in vivo. Semin Cell Dev Biol 2009; 20:931-41. PubMed
  • Massberg S, von Andrian UH. Novel trafficking routes for hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. Ann N Y Acad Sci 2009; 1176:87-93. PubMed
  • Beltman JB, Henrickson SE, von Andrian UH, de Boer RJ, Marée AF. Towards estimating the true duration of dendritic cell interactions with T cells. J Immunol Methods 2009; 347:54-69. PubMed
  • Sarraj B,Massberg S,Li Y,Kasorn A,Subramanian K,Loison F,Silberstein LE,von Andrian U,Luo HR. Myeloid-specific deletion of tumor suppressor PTEN augments neutrophil transendothelial migration during inflammation. J Immunol 2009; 182:7190-200. PubMed
  • Schulz C,Von Andrian UH,Massberg S. Trafficking of Murine Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells in Health and Vascular Disease. Microcirculation 2009. PubMed
  • Roozendaal R,Mempel TR,Pitcher LA,Gonzalez SF,Verschoor A,Mebius RE,von Andrian UH,Carroll MC. Conduits mediate transport of low-molecular-weight antigen to lymph node follicles. Immunity 2009; 30:264-76. PubMed
  • Mora JR,von Andrian UH. Role of retinoic acid in the imprinting of gut-homing IgA-secreting cells. Semin Immunol 2008; 21:28-35. PubMed
  • Schulz C,von Andrian UH,Massberg S. Hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells: their mobilization and homing to bone marrow and peripheral tissue. Immunol Res 2009; 44:160-8. PubMed
  • Imai Y,Park EJ,Peer D,Peixoto A,Cheng G,von Andrian UH,Carman CV,Shimaoka M. Genetic perturbation of the putative cytoplasmic membrane-proximal salt bridge aberrantly activates alpha(4) integrins. Blood 2008; 112:5007-15. PubMed
  • Alvarez D,Vollmann EH,von Andrian UH. Mechanisms and consequences of dendritic cell migration. Immunity 2008; 29:325-42. PubMed
  • Mora JR,Iwata M,von Andrian UH. Vitamin effects on the immune system: vitamins A and D take centre stage. Nat Rev Immunol 2008. PubMed
  • Zheng H, Jin B, Henrickson S, Perelson AS, von Andrian UH, Chakraborty AK. How antigen quantity and quality determine T cell decisions in lymphoid tissue. Mol Cell Biol 2008; 28:4040-51. PubMed
  • Iparraguirre A, Tobias JW, Hensley SE, Masek KS, Cavanagh LL, Rendl M, Hunter CA, Ertl HC, von Andrian UH, Weninger W. Two distinct activation states of plasmacytoid dendritic cells induced by influenza virus and CpG 1826 oligonucleotide. J Leukoc Biol 2007; 83:610-20. PubMed
  • Henrickson SE, Mempel TR, Mazo IB, Liu B, Artyomov MN, Zheng H, Peixoto A, Flynn MP, Senman B, Junt T, Wong HC, Chakraborty AK, von Andrian UH. T cell sensing of antigen dose governs interactive behavior with dendritic cells and sets a threshold for T cell activation. Nat Immunol 2008; 9:282-91. PubMed
  • Laird DJ, von Andrian UH, Wagers AJ. Stem cell trafficking in tissue development, growth, and disease. Cell 2008; 132:612-30. PubMed
  • Henrickson SE, Mempel TR, Mazo IB, Liu B, Artyomov MN, Zheng H, Peixoto A, Flynn M, Senman B, Junt T, Wong HC, Chakraborty AK, von Andrian UH. In vivo imaging of T cell priming. Sci Signal 2008; 1:pt2. PubMed
  • Tenno M, Ohtsubo K, Hagen FK, Ditto D, Zarbock A, Schaerli P, von Andrian UH, Ley K, Le D, Tabak LA, Marth JD. Initiation of protein O glycosylation by the polypeptide GalNAcT-1 in vascular biology and humoral immunity. Mol Cell Biol 2007; 27:8783-96. PubMed
  • Massberg S, Schaerli P, Knezevic-Maramica I, Kollnberger M, Tubo N, Moseman EA, Huff IV, Junt T, Wagers AJ, Mazo IB, von Andrian UH. Immunosurveillance by hematopoietic progenitor cells trafficking through blood, lymph, and peripheral tissues. Cell 2007; 131:994-1008. PubMed
  • Junt T, Moseman EA, Iannacone M, Massberg S, Lang PA, Boes M, Fink K, Henrickson SE, Shayakhmetov DM, Di Paolo NC, van Rooijen N, Mempel TR, Whelan SP, von Andrian UH. Subcapsular sinus macrophages in lymph nodes clear lymph-borne viruses and present them to antiviral B cells. Nature 2007; 450:110-4. PubMed
  • Bonasio R, Carman CV, Kim E, Sage PT, Love KR, Mempel TR, Springer TA, von Andrian UH. Specific and covalent labeling of a membrane protein with organic fluorochromes and quantum dots. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2007; 104:14753-8. PubMed
  • Park EJ, Mora JR, Carman CV, Chen J, Sasaki Y, Cheng G, von Andrian UH, Shimaoka M. Aberrant activation of integrin alpha4beta7 suppresses lymphocyte migration to the gut. J Clin Invest 2007; 117:2526-38. PubMed
  • Henrickson SE, von Andrian UH. Single-cell dynamics of T-cell priming. Curr Opin Immunol 2007; 19:249-58. PubMed
  • Swirski FK, Berger CR, Figueiredo JL, Mempel TR, von Andrian UH, Pittet MJ, Weissleder R. A near-infrared cell tracker reagent for multiscopic in vivo imaging and quantification of leukocyte immune responses. PLoS ONE 2007; 2:e1075. PubMed
  • Mora JR, Iwata M, Eksteen B, Song SY, Junt T, Senman B, Otipoby KL, Yokota A, Takeuchi H, Ricciardi-Castagnoli P, Rajewsky K, Adams DH, von Andrian UH. Generation of gut-homing IgA-secreting B cells by intestinal dendritic cells. Science 2006; 314:1157-60. PubMed
  • Pearce G, Angeli V, Randolph GJ, Junt T, von Andrian U, Schnittler HJ, Jessberger R. Signaling protein SWAP-70 is required for efficient B cell homing to lymphoid organs. Nat Immunol 2006; 7:827-34. PubMed
  • Mempel TR, Pittet MJ, Khazaie K, Weninger W, Weissleder R, von Boehmer H, von Andrian UH. Regulatory T cells reversibly suppress cytotoxic T cell function independent of effector differentiation. Immunity 2006; 25:129-41. PubMed
  • Scimone ML, Aifantis I, Apostolou I, von Boehmer H, von Andrian UH. A multistep adhesion cascade for lymphoid progenitor cell homing to the thymus. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2006; 103:7006-11. PubMed
  • O'Leary JG, Goodarzi M, Drayton DL, von Andrian UH. T cell- and B cell-independent adaptive immunity mediated by natural killer cells. Nat Immunol 2006; 7:507-16. PubMed
  • Wang J, Fathman JW, Lugo-Villarino G, Scimone L, von Andrian U, Dorfman DM, Glimcher LH. Transcription factor T-bet regulates inflammatory arthritis through its function in dendritic cells. J Clin Invest 2006; 116:414-21. PubMed