Immunology groups in BMED are actively involved in defining aspects of basic immune function, elucidating the etiology of immune-mediated diseases such as autoimmunity, allergic responses and inflammatory conditions, determining the impacts of the environment on the immune system, and developing novel therapies to regulate and/or treat immunological diseases.

Immunology is the study of the immune system and how it functions to keep us healthy, be it fighting off infectious disease, detecting and destroying cancerous cells, or understanding how the immune system can go awry leading to diseases such as autoimmunity and allergies. This rapidly evolving field of biomedical science involves a focus on organismal, cellular, biochemical and molecular studies to enhance our knowledge of how this very important physiological system functions. In addition, the development of novel immunotherapeutics to treat disease (both immune-mediated and non-immune diseases) is one of the fastest growing areas of biomedical research today. From basic investigations into the role of immune cells, to assessing the impacts of environmental insults on immunity, to the development of new pharmaceutics, many researchers at the University of Montana are actively engaged in studying the immune system. A list of BMED faculty interests in immunology can be found below.

Students working in the Pharmaceutical Sciences labs have pursued their graduate degrees in:

Participating Faculty

Hélène Bazin-lee

Research Professor

Design and synthesis of Toll-like receptor agonists targetting specific signaling pathways to manipulate innate and adaptive immune responses.

Celine Beamer

Research Associate Professor

David Burkhart

Research Professor, Associate Director of the Center for Translational Medicine

Using nanoparticle technology to target adjuvants to specific cells of the immune system tailoring the immune response needed for a given disease.

Andrij Holian

Professor, Director of Center for Environmental Health Science

Zeina Jaffar

Research Assistant Professor

Christopher T. Migliaccio

Research Associate Professor

Kevan Roberts

Associate Professor

David Shepherd


The Shepherd laboratory studies dendritic cells and innate lymphocytes and how they interact with other immune and non-immune cells for the generation of effector immunity or maintenance of immune homeostasis.