Associate Professor  Molecular Microbiology and Immunology   Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Associate Professor

Molecular Microbiology and Immunology

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


Our group studies the immunological, hormonal, and genetic factors mediating sex differences, age-related changes, and the effects of pregnancy on infectious disease pathogenesis and vaccination. Using several model systems, including influenza, Zika, and malaria, we are uncovering the mechanisms mediating how females have higher inflammatory and adaptive immune responses than males as well as how immune responses to infection or vaccination change during pregnancy and over the life course.

Immunology and Infectious Diseases

Selected Publications:

Vermillion MS, Ursin RL, Kuok DIT, Vom Steeg LG, Wohlgemuth N, Hall OJ, Fink AL, Sasse E, Nelson A, Ndeh R, McGrath-Morrow S, Mitzner W, Chan MCW, Pekosz A, Klein SL. Production of amphiregulin and recovery from influenza is greater in males than females. Biol Sex Differ. 2018 PubMed PMID: 30012205.

Vom Steeg LG, Vermillion MS, Hall OJ, Alam O, McFarland R, Chen H, Zirkin B, Klein SL. Age and testosterone mediate influenza pathogenesis in male mice. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2016 PMID: 27815260.

Hall OJ, Limjunyawong N, Vermillion MS, Robinson DP, Wohlgemuth N, Pekosz A, Mitzner W, Klein SL. Progesterone-Based Therapy Protects Against Influenza by Promoting Lung Repair and Recovery in Females. PLoS Pathog. 2016 PMID: 27631986.

Klein SL, Flanagan KL. Sex differences in immune responses. Nat Rev Immunol. 2016 PMID: 27546235.

Potluri T, Fink AL, Sylvia KE, Dhakal S, Vermillion MS, Vom Steeg L, Deshpande S, Narasimhan H, Klein SL. Age-associated changes in the impact of sex steroids on influenza vaccine responses in males and females. NPJ Vaccines. 2019 PMID: 31312529.

Fink AL, Engle K, Ursin RL, Tang WY, Klein SL. Biological sex affects vaccine efficacy and protection against influenza in mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 PMID: 30455317;

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