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Faculty Detail    
Campus Address SHEL 410 Zip 2182
Phone  205-934-6557
Other websites Kearney Lab Page

Faculty Appointment(s)
Appointment Type Department Division Rank
Primary  Microbiology  Microbiology Professor
Secondary  Medicine  Med - Dev & Clin Immunology Professor
Secondary  Pathology   Pathology Chair Office Professor
Center  Center for AIDS Research  Center for AIDS Research Professor
Center  Comp Arthritis, MSK, Bone & Autoimmunity Ctr  Comp Arthritis, MSK, Bone & Autoimmunity Ctr Professor
Center  Comprehensive Cancer Center  Comprehensive Cancer Center Professor
Center  Comprehensive Diabetes Center  Comprehensive Diabetes Center Professor

Graduate Biomedical Sciences Affiliations
Cellular and Molecular Biology Program 
Hughes Med-Grad Fellowship Program 
Medical Scientist Training Program 

Biographical Sketch 
John F. Kearney, Professor, completed his Ph.D. studies in immunology at the University of Melbourne, Australia and carried out postdoctoral studies at UAB with Drs. Cooper and Lawton on in vitro models of immunoglobulin isotope switching. He joined the Microbiology staff in 1977 and has continued his studies on B cell differentiation. In 1978 he spent a year with Dr. Klaus Rajewsky in Cologne, Germany where he learned hybridoma technology and also isolated one of the most widely used fusing plasmacytomas. He has since exploited this technique as well as transgenic and knockout mice to dissect out complexities of immune regulation. His outside interests include road biking and gardening.

Research/Clinical Interest
Focus on fundamental cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the development of a diverse B cell repertoire
The Kearney laboratory research addresses the “hygiene hypothesis” that links the increase in autoimmune and allergic phenomena such as Type 1 diabetes and allergic asthma in humans to excessively sanitary conditions provided to our children early in life. These are significant public health problems worldwide, associated with an alarming decrease in the age of onset. These studies revolve around development of the immune system, immune responses to the pathogens and opportunistic pathogens (Bacillus anthracis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, groups A and B streptococci, Enterobacter cloacae, Aspergillus fumigatus) and in addition the application of monoclonal antibody techniques for spore detection of the bioterrorism agent Bacillus anthracis detection.

Selected Publications 
Publication PUBMEDID
Balazs M, Martin F, Zhou T, Kearney JF: Blood dendritic cells interact with splenic marginal zone B cells to initiate T-independent immune responses. Immunity 17:341-352, 2002  12354386 
Martin F and Kearney, JF: Marginal-zone B cells. Nat Rev Immunology2:323-335, 2002.  12033738 
Won W-J, Kearney JF: CD9 is a unique marker for marginal zone B cells, B1 cells, and plasma cells in mice. J Immunol. 168:5605-5611, 2002.  12023357 
Thai T-H., Purugganan, MM, Roth DB, Kearney JF: Distinct and opposite diversifying activities of terminal transferase splice variants. Nat Immunol. 3:463-468, 2002.  11938351 
Martin F, Oliver AM, Kearney JF: Marginal zone and B1 B cells unite in the early response against T-independent blood-borne particulate antigens. Immunity 14:617-629, 2001.  11371363 
Purugganan MM, Kearney JF, Roth DB: Ku86 is required for addition of N nucleotides to V(D)J recombination junctions by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase. Nucleic Acid Res 29:1638-1646, 2001  11266568 
Benedict CL, Gilfillan S, Kearney JF: The long isoform of terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase enters the nucleus and, rather than catalyzing nontemplated nucleotide addition, modulates the catalytic activity of the short isoform. J. Exp. Med. 193:89-99, 2001.  11136823 
Martin F and Kearney JF: Positive Selection from newly formed to marginal zone B cells depends on the rate of clonal production, CD19 and btk. Immunity 12:39-49, 2000.   10661404 
Benedict CL, Kearney JF: Increased junctional diversity in fetal B cells results in a loss of protective anti-phosphorylcholine antibodies in adult mice. Immunity 10:607-617, 1999.  10367906 
Oliver AM, Martin, F, Kearney JF: IgMhighCD21high lymphocytes enriched in the splenic marginal zone generate effector cells more rapidly than the bulk of follicular B cells. J Immunol. 162:7198-7207, 1999.  10358166 

B Cells, B Cell Development, Hybridomas, Transgenic and Knockout Mice, Immunoregulation, B. anthracis