Brown, Michael G.

Michael Brown

Michael G. Brown

Primary Appointment

Professor, Medicine: Nephrology


  • BS, Biochemistry, Virginia Tech University
  • PhD, Immunology, Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Postdoc, Immunology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
  • Postdoc, Immunology, Washington University

Contact Information

PO Box 801386
MR6, Rm 2714A
Charlottesville, Virginia 22908
Telephone: 434-924-5106
Fax: 434-924-1221

Research Interests

NK Cells and Viral Immunity, Genetics of host resistance to viral infection, Immunogenetics, Immune regulation

Research Description

Immunology, Molecular Biology and Genetics Natural killer (NK) cells are essential lymphocytes needed to arm the innate immune defense system. They mediate lysis of virus-infected and malignant target cells. As a result, NK cells supply vital protection that helps to prevent the spread of viral infection, or the development and progression of cancer. Viral pathogens and cancer cells, however, try to evade NK cell defenses using many different strategies. Ongoing research studies in the laboratory center on the role of NK cells in innate viral immunity. We also explore how viral pathogens and tumor cells try to escape NK-mediated immune control. Classical genetics approaches have been used to identify and characterize key genetic factors that control major NK cell features, including NK responsiveness to stimulation, NK lysis of virus-infected and tumor target cells, and NK-mediated resistance to viral infection. As central mediators of immunity, NK cells also regulate other immune cells, including dendritic cells and T cells. Recent studies have shown that NK cells can either negatively or positively affect virus-specific T cell effectors during viral infection. Additional studies in the laboratory therefore focus on the regulatory role of NK cells during priming and differentiation of virus-specific effector T cells, and the development of protective immune memory.

Selected Publications