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Marion Pepper, Ph.D.

Co-Director, Seattle Hub for Synthetic Biology; Professor & Chair of Immunology, University of Washington


Dr. Marion Pepper earned her Ph.D. in Immunology in 2006 from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Her work there focused on the development of the CD4+ T cell response to the eukaryotic parasite, Toxoplasma gondii in the laboratory of Dr. Christopher A. Hunter. She continued to study the adaptive immune response as a postdoctoral scholar, specifically focusing on memory lymphocyte differentiation and function in Dr. Marc K. Jenkins’ lab at the University of Minnesota. In 2011, she joined the faculty of the Department of Immunology at the University of Washington in Seattle as an Assistant Professor. The overarching goals of her laboratory are to understand how to regulate immune cell differentiation such that memory responses against infections can be optimized, while those against allergy can be suppressed. Her studies have revealed key differentiation programs and functions of both memory CD4+ T cells and B cells in response to pathogens and allergens. In 2017, she was awarded the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases Award and was promoted to Associate Professor. In 2021, she was awarded the International Cytokine and Interferon Society ICIS-Luminex John R. Kettman Award for Excellence in Interferon & Cytokine Research. In 2022, she was named Chair of the University of Washington School of Medicine Department of Immunology, and in 2023, she was promoted to Professor. She enjoys living in Seattle with her husband, two daughters and a pandemic puppy. 

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