Michael Brenner MD is the Elizabeth Fay Brigham Professor of Medicine, at Harvard Medical School, and Director of the Human Immunology Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, and has received the Lee C. Howley Prize for Research in Arthritis and the Carol-Nachman Prize in Rheumatology.
Brenner’s laboratory and The Human Immunology Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital designs and implements high dimensional immunophenotyping, single cell transcriptomic analyses and functional studies to deconstruct human autoimmune disorders. In rheumatoid arthritis, his laboratory has defined subsets of fibroblasts that mediate joint pathology and the role of synovial cadherins in regulating their pathological behavior. He recently discovered a new T cell population, called T peripheral helper T (Tph) cells that are pathologically expanded in rheumatoid arthritis and drive B cell responses and antibody production.
Dr. Brenner’s research accomplishments in basic biology also include the discovery of γδ T cells. He defined a new system of antigen presentation by which the immune system recognizes lipids as cognate antigens via CD1 antigen presenting molecules. CD1-restricted T cells play roles in host defense and regulate adipose tissue inflammation. He identified the integrin molecule αEβ7, and its role in mucosal leukocyte homing, the role of calnexin in protein assembly and quality control, and the role of small GTPase Arl proteins in endocytic trafficking.