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Faculty Detail    
Campus Address VH 390A Zip 0000
Phone  (205) 975-7081
Other websites

Faculty Appointment(s)
Appointment Type Department Division Rank
Primary  Ophthalmology  Ophthalmology Professor Emeritus

Graduate Biomedical Sciences Affiliations
Cellular and Molecular Biology Program 
Medical Scientist Training Program 

Biographical Sketch 
Judith Kapp, Ph.D. joined the Department of Ophthalmology at UAB in June 2004 as a professor and was appointed as its Vice Chair for Basic Research in March 2005. Dr. Kapp is involved in didactic and bench teaching of pre- and post-doctoral fellows. She serves as the PI on research grants from the NIH, the Foundation Fighting Blindness, and Research to Prevent Blindness. She is a mentor on training grants from the NEI and NIAID. In addition, she was appointed as the Chair of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee at UAB in August 2005. Prior to moving to UAB, Dr. Kapp was at Emory University, in Atlanta, GA where she served as a professor of Pathology from 1993 and Ophthalmology from 1997 to 2004. There she served as a faculty member in the Immunology and Molecular Pathogenesis graduate training program. Dr. Kapp rose through the ranks from assistant professor to professor in the Department of Pathology at Washington University, St. Louis, MO during her tenure there from 1976 to 1991. She received a B.A. (Microbiology) from Miami University of Ohio in 1965; an M.S. (Microbiology) from Indiana University in 1969, and a Ph.D. (Immunology) from Harvard University in 1976.

Society Memberships
Organization Name Position Held Org Link
Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology  member   
Americans for Medical Progress Educational Foundation  member   
American Association of Immunologists   member   

Research/Clinical Interest
Immune regulation and transplantation
My research focuses on identifying mechanisms of inducing and abrogating immunological tolerance. Our long-term goal is to translate our findings into novel therapies for preventing graft rejection. We have previously determined that tolerance by oral or ocular administration of proteins induces CD8+ suppressor T (Ts) cells that can transfer unresponsiveness to nave, syngeneic mice. Recently, we have developed the methodology to induce antigen-specific by stimulating CD8+ T suppressive cells from TCR transgenic (Tg) mice in the presence of TGFbeta. These T cells express FoxP3 inhibit the in vitro activation of CTL responses by normal B6 CD8+ T cells specific for s defined alloantigen but only if the alloantigen and the antigen recognized by the CD8+ T cells are presented by the same antigen presenting cells. The TGFbeta-activated TCR T Tg cells also suppressed the rejection of heterotopic vascularized cardiac allografts in normal mice mediated by specific CD4+ TCR Tg T cells, if the cardiac allograft expressed both antigens as transgenes. Prolonged survival of allografts was associated with rapid migration of the FoxP3+ CD8+ Ts cells into the donor hearts. We are also studying the transplantation of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells as a treatment for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 65 in this country. This disease ultimately results from the loss of light sensing (photoreceptor) cells; however, the loss of photoreceptor cells is preceded by loss of the underlying RPE. Replacement of dead or damaged cells with healthy retinal cells is a very promising approach to the treatment of this, and other, retinal diseases that we are investigating. Although the eye is an immunologically privileged site, our preliminary data show that allogeneic RPE transplanted into the subretinal space of allogeneic mice are rejected within 4 weeks, whereas they are not rejected in syngeneic mice or immunodeficient Rag-1 knockout allogeneic mice. Our goal is to develop methods to prevent rejection by inducing tolerance. To this end, we have produced transgenic mice expressing OVA in the retinal cells, which will be transplanted into syngeneic mice that have been adoptively transferred with OVA-specific TCR transgenic T cells to track specific cellular interactions in vivo. Experiments are currently underway to determine whether RPE expressing OVA are rejected by OVA-specific T cells and whether rejection can be abrogated by induction of tolerance to OVA or by transfer of CD8+ TCR Tg T cells activated in the presence of TGFbeta.

Selected Publications 
Publication PUBMEDID
Ye, K., Y. Ke, N. Keshava, J. Shanks, J.A. Kapp, R.R. Tekmal, J. Petros, and H.C. Joshi. Opium alkaloid noscapine is an anti-tumor agent that arrests metaphase and induces apoptosis in dividing cells. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 95:1601-1606, 1998.   946506 
Schmack, I., L. Berglin, X. Nie, J. Wen, S.J. Kang, A.I. Marcus, H. Yang, M.J. Lynn, J.A. Kapp, H.E. Grossniklaus. Modulation of choroidal neovascularization by subretinal injection of retinal pigment epithelium and polystyrene microbeads. Mol. Vis. 15: 146-161, 2009.  19158960 
Kapp, J.A. and R. Pat Bucy. CD8+ suppressor T cells resurrected. Human Immunol. 69:715-720, 2008  18817830 
Kapp, J.A. Suppressors regulated but unsuppressed. Immunology 123: 28-32, 2008.  18154616 
Wajchman, J.R., J.C. Zimring, J.P. Lake, J. Wen and J.A. Kapp. Ovalbumin serves as a neo-transplantation antigen in retinal pigment epithelial cells. Mol. Vis. 13: 1902-11, 2007  17960129 
Kapp, J.A., K. Honjo, L.M. Kapp, K. Goldsmith, and R.P. Bucy. Antigen, in the presence of TGFbeta induces up-regulation of FoxP3gfp+ in CD4+ TCR transgenic T cells that mediate linked-suppression of CD8+ T cell responses. J. Immunol. 179: 2105-2114, 2007.  17675469 
Kapp, J.A., A. Cozier, K. Honjo, L.M. Kapp., X.Y. Xu, and R. Pat Bucy. TCR Transgenic CD8+ T cells activated in the presence of TGF1 express FoxP3 and mediate linked-suppression of primary immune responses and cardiac allograft rejection. Int. Immunol. 18:1549-1562, 2006.  16966495 
McKenna, Kyle C. and J.A. Kapp. Accumulation of immunosuppressive CD11b+ myeloid cells correlates with the failure to prevent tumor growth in the anterior chamber of the eye. J. Immunol. 177:1599-1608, 2006.   16849468 
McKenna, K.C., K.M. Anderson, and J.A. Kapp. CD8+ T cell tolerance induced by delivery of antigen to the anterior chamber is not the result of de facto intravenous or mucosal administration of antigen. Ocular Immunol. Inflam. 13:149-157, 2005.   16019674 
Zimring, J. C., L. M. Kapp, M. Yamada, J. Weiss, and J. A. Kapp. Regulation of CD8+ cytolytic T lymphocyte differentiation by a cholinergic pathway. J. Neuroimmunol. 164:66-75, 2005.   15913791 
Wen, J. B., C. Barron, H.P. Langston and J.A. Kapp. Use of microspheres in tracking sub-retinal injections. Molecular Vision 11:256-262, 2005.   15851980 
S.A. Safley, L.M. Kapp, C. Tucker-Burden, B. Hering, J.A. Kapp, and C.J. Weber. Inhibition of cellular immune responses to encapsulated porcine islet xenografts by simultaneous blockade of two different costimulatory pathways. Transplant. 79: 409–418, 2005.   15729166 
S.A. Safley, L.M. Kapp, C. Tucker-Burden, B. Hering, J.A. Kapp, and C.J. Weber. Inhibition of cellular immune responses to encapsulated porcine islet xenografts by simultaneous blockade of two different costimulatory pathways. Transplant. 79: 409–418, 2005.   15729166 
Honjo, K., X-Y. Xu, J.A. Kapp, and R.P. Bucy. Activation and migration of allo-peptide specific TCR transgenic T cells in cardiac allograft rejection. Cell. Immunol. 230:44-55, 2004.   15541718 
Honjo, K, X-Y. Xu, J.A. Kapp, and R. Pat Bucy. Evidence for cooperativity in the rejection of cardiac grafts mediated by CD4+ TCR Tg T cells specific for a defined allopeptide. Am. J. Transplant. 4:1762-1768, 2004.   15476474 
Zimring, J.C., S.B. Levery, B. Kniep, L.M. Kapp, M. Fuller, and J.A. Kapp. CD75s is a marker of murine CD8+ suppressor T cells. Int. Immunol. 15:1389-1399, 2003.   14565937 
Rong, R., H. Huang, E. Nagata, D. Kalman, J.A. Kapp, J. Tu, P.F. Worley, S.H. Snyder, and K. Ye. PIKE-L/Homer complex couples mGLuR1 to PI 3-kinase, preventing neuronal apopotosis. Nat Neurosci. 11:1153-61, 2003   14528310 
Sanjay G., A. Oran, J. Wajchman, S. Sasaki, C. A. Maris, J.A. Kapp, and J. Jacob. Genetic tagging shows increased frequency and longevity of antigen-presenting, skin-derived dendritic cells in vivo. Nat. Immunol. 4:907-912, 2003.

Safley, S.A., J.A. Kapp, and C.J. Weber. Proliferative and cytokine responses in CTLA4-Ig-treated diabetic NOD mice transplanted with microencapsulated neonatal porcine ICCs. Cell Transplant. 11:695-705, 2002.

McKenna, K.C., Y. Xu, and J.A. Kapp. Injection of soluble antigen into the anterior chamber of the eye induces expansion and functional unresponsiveness of antigen-specific CD8+ T cells. J. Immunol. 169:5630-5637, 2002.   12421942 
Ke, Y., K. Ye, H.E. Grossniklaus, D.R. Archer, H.C. Joshi, and J.A. Kapp. Noscapine inhibits tumor growth with little toxicity to normal tissues or inhibition of immune responses. Cancer Immunol Immunother 49: 217-225, 2000.   10941904 

immunity; immune tolerance; immune regulation; transplantation; autoimmunity