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Faculty Detail    
Campus Address SHEL 607 Zip 2182
Phone  (205) 934-6358
Other websites

Faculty Appointment(s)
Appointment Type Department Division Rank
Center    Professor
Center  Center for AIDS Research  Center for AIDS Research Professor
Center  Center for Biophysical Sciences/Engineering  Center for Biophysical Sciences/Engineering Professor
Center  Comp Arthritis, MSK, Bone & Autoimmunity Ctr  Comp Arthritis, MSK, Bone & Autoimmunity Ctr Professor
Center  Comprehensive Cancer Center  Comprehensive Cancer Center Professor
Center  General Clinical Research Center  Ctr for Clinical & Translational Sci Professor
Center  GL Ctr for Craniofacial, Oral, & Dental Disorders  GL Ctr for Craniofacial, Oral, & Dental Disorders Professor
Primary  Medicine  Med - Gastroenterology Professor
Secondary  Medicine  Med - Immunology/Rheumatology Professor
Secondary  Microbiology  Microbiology Professor
Secondary  Surgery   Surgery - Gen Surg Gastrointestinal Section Professor

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

Biographical Sketch 
Education: University of Notre Dame, B.A., 1964, General Science Washington University, St. Louis, M.D., 1968, Medicine Academic Achievements: 1968-1969 Intern in Medicine, Cornell University Hospital 1969-1970 Assistant Resident in Medicine, Cornell University Hospitals 1970-1972 Major, Medical Corps, United States Army 1972-1973 Senior Resident in Medicine, University of Chicago Hospitals 1973-1975 N.I.H. Fellow in Gastroenterology, University of Chicago 1975-1976 Instructor in Medicine, The University of Chicago 1976-1978 Assistant Professor of Medicine, The University of Chicago 1976-1980 Expert, Immunophysiology Section, Metabolism Branch, National Cancer Institutes, Bethesda, MD 1980-1986 Associate Professor of Medicine, Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, VA 1982-1986 Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, VA 1986-1987 Professor of Medicine and of Microbiology and Immunology, Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, VA 1987-pres Professor of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 1987-2001 Director, Division of Gastroenterology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 1999-2002 President, Society for Mucosal Immunology 1990-pres Professor of Microbiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham 1997-pres Awarded Basil I. Hirschowitz Chair in Gastroenterology 1998-pres Elected to Membership, Association of American Physicians 2001-2009 Vice Chair for Research, Department of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham 2002-pres Elected to Membership, American Academy of Microbiology 2007-2010 Member, Advisory Council, National Institutes of Diabetes, and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, NIH 2012-present Member, Advisory Board, Broad Medical Research Foundation

Society Memberships
Organization Name Position Held Org Link
Alpha Omega Alpha, 1968     
American Academy of Microbiology, 2002     
American Association of Immunologists, 1983     
American College of Physicians, 1975  Fellow 1983   
American Federation for Clinical Research, 1976     
American Gastroenterological Association, 1976     
American Society for Microbiology, 1990     
Association of American Physicians, 1998     
Association of Subspecialty Professors, 1994     
Clinical Immunology Society, 1988     

Research/Clinical Interest
Regulation of mucosal immune responses
The central focus of the laboratory is on the regulation of mucosal immune responses, particularly the mucosal immune response to the microbiota, which represent the largest mass of antigen encountered by the immune system. The cellular and molecular mechanisms that maintain mucosal immune homeostasis are being defined. When these mechanisms fail, pathogenic effector T cells are generated that result in colitis. We have cloned a set of immunodominant antigens of the microbiota that stimulate such pathogenic T cells and result in inflammatory bowel disease. Among these cloned antigens, previously unknown bacterial flagellins have emerged as a major cluster. Seroreactivity to these flagellins is found in multiple experimental models of colitis in mice and in half of patients with Crohn's disease. These antigens drive a newly described CD4 T cell effector subset making IL-17 (Th17) which appears to be responsible for disease progression. A T cell receptor transgenic mouse reactive to the flagellins has been generated and will be used to study the innate and adaptive immune response to these bacterial antigens. A second major effort is in the identification of T reg cells in the intestine that recognize microbial antigens and maintain homeostasis. The mechanisms whereby such cells are induced are being defined and the application of these cells to prevent or treat intestinal inflammation is being tested.

Selected Publications 
Publication PUBMEDID
Maynard CL, Elson CO, Hatton RD, Weaver CT. Reciprocal interactions of the intestinal microbiota and immune system. Nature. 2012 Sep 13;489:231-41.   PMID:22972296 
Hand TW, Dos Santos LM, Bouladoux N, Molloy MJ, Pagán AJ, Pepper M, Maynard CL, Elson CO, Belkaid Y. Acute Gastrointestinal Infection Induces Long-Lived Microbiota-Specific T Cell Responses. Science. 2012; 337:1553-6.   PMID: 22923434 
Elson CO, Cong Y. Host-microbiota interactions in inflammatory bowel disease. Gut Microbes. 2012; 3:332-44. PMID 22572873  PMID 22572873 
Feng T, Cao AT, Weaver CT, Elson CO, Cong Y. 2011. IL-12 Converts Foxp3(+) Regulatory T Cells to Foxp3(+)IFNg(+) T Cells With Inhibitory Functions During Induction of Colitis. Gastroenterology. 140(7):2031-43.   PMC3109200 
Saleh M, Elson CO. 2011. Experimental inflammatory bowel disease: insights into the host-microbiota dialog. Immunity. 34(3):293-302.   PMC3108903 
Ting Feng, Lanfang Wang, Trenton R Schoeb, Charles O Elson, Yingzi Cong. Microbiota innate stimulation is a prerequisite for T cell spontaneous proliferation and induction of experimental colitis. J Exp Med (2010) vol. 207 (6) pp. 1321-1332  20498021 
Y Cong, T Feng, K Fujihashi, T Schoeb, C O Elson. A dominant, coordinated T regulatory cell-IgA response to the intestinal microbiota. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA (2009) vol. 105 (46) pp. 19256-19261  19889972 
Yingzi Cong, Lanfang Wang, Astrid Konrad, Trenton Schoeb, Charles O Elson. Curcumin induces the tolerogenic dendritic cell that promotes differentiation of intestine-protective regulatory T cells. Eur J Immunol (2009) vol. 39 (11) pp. 3134-46  19839007 
Hongwei Qin, Lanfang Wang, Ting Feng, Charles O Elson, Sandrine A Niyongere, Sun Jung Lee, Stephanie L Reynolds, Casey T Weaver, Kevin Roarty, Rosa Serra, Etty N Benveniste, Yingzi Congl. TGF-{beta} Promotes Th17 Cell Development through Inhibition of SOCS3. J Immunol (2009) vol. 183 (1) pp. 97-105  19535626 
Y Lee, H Turner, C Maynard, J Oliver, D Chen, C Elson, C Weaver. Late Developmental Plasticity in the T Helper 17 Lineage. Immunity (2008) vol. 30 (1) pp. 92-107  19119024 
H Takedatsu, K D Taylor, L Mei, D P B Mcgovern, C J Landers, R Gonsky, Y Cong, E A Vasiliauskas, A Ippoliti, C O Elson, J I Rotter, S R Targan. Linkage of Crohn's disease-related serological phenotypes: NFKB1 haplotypes are associated with anti-CBir1 and ASCA, and show reduced NF-kappaB activation. Gut (2009) vol. 58 (1) pp. 60-7  18832525 
C Shen, C Landers, C Derkowski, C Elson, S Targan. Enhanced CBir1-specific innate and adaptive immune responses in Crohn's disease. Inflamm Bowel Dis (2008) pp. 1-11  18825772 
L Wayne Duck, Mark R Walter, Jan Novak, Denise Kelly, Maurizio Tomasi, Yingzi Cong, Charles O Elson. Isolation of flagellated bacteria implicated in Crohn's disease. Inflamm Bowel Dis (2007) vol. 13 (10) pp. 1191-201  17712838 
Charles O Elson, Yingzi Cong, Casey T Weaver, Trenton R Schoeb, Terrill K McClanahan, Robert B Fick, Robert A Kastelein. Monoclonal anti-interleukin 23 reverses active colitis in a T cell-mediated model in mice. Gastroenterology (2007) vol. 132 (7) pp. 2359-70.  17570211 
Mangan PR, Harrington LE, O'Quinn DB, Helms WS, Bullard DC, Elson CO, Hatton RD, Wahl SM, Schoeb TR, Weaver CT. Transforming growth factor-beta induces development of the T(H)17 lineage. Nature. 2006 May 11;441(7090):231-4.   16648837 
Lodes MJ, Cong Y, Elson CO, Mohamath R, Landers CJ, Targan SR, Fort M, Hershberg RM. Bacterial flagellin is a dominant antigen in Crohn’s disease. J Clin Invest 2004; 113:1296-1306.  15124021 
Xue X, Feng T, Yao S, Wolf K, Liu CG, Elson, CO, Cong Y. 2011. Microbiota downregulates dendritic cell expression of miR-10a, which targets IL-12/IL-23p40. J Immunol. 187:5879-86.    

T reg cells, dendritic cells, colitis, mucosal, Crohn's disease, transgenic, IgA, Th IL17