Jan Erikson, Ph.D.

Jan Erikson, Ph.D.

  • Professor, Vaccine & Immunotherapy Center
  • Member, Immunology, Microenvironment and Metastasis Program
  • 215-898-3823, Office

The laboratory of Jan Erikson has had a long-standing interest in B cell activation and regulation, particularly the signals that guide the trajectory of immune cells along distinct developmental paths resulting in either short-term or long-lasting immunity. Antibody secreting cells (ASCs) are pivotal in the etiology of antibody-mediated autoimmune syndromes such as SLE, and the malignant transformation of ASCs results in multiple myeloma. Furthermore, protective humoral immunity to viral infections depends on long-lived ASCs. The mechanisms responsible for the generation and maintenance of ASCs in survival niches at inflamed sites and the bone marrow remain poorly understood. 

The Erikson lab has focused on the regulation of autoreactive disease-associated B cells, specifically anti-chromatin B cells that are one of the hallmarks of lupus as well as the immune response to respiratory tract (RT) infections, which remain a major health burden worldwide. Protective immunity to RT infections depends on long-lived (ASCs) and memory B cells.

The Erikson lab is beginning to identify features of RT infection that promote B cell and ASC survival. Because a significant cause of morbidity and mortality with influenza infection is due to bacterial co-infection, the lab has established a model of influenza-bacterial co-infection. They have documented that co-infection modulates the humoral immunity to influenza infection. Understanding how B cells interpret the co-infection milieu may inform future vaccine approaches for infectious diseases as well as therapies for B cell-based autoimmunity and myeloma.

Erikson received both her bachelor’s degree and doctorate in biology from the University of Pennsylvania. In 1986, she moved to California to do her initial postdoctoral work at Stanford University Medical School, and later returned to Pennsylvania for a postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute for Cancer Research, Fox Chase Cancer Center.

Erikson joined The Wistar Institute as an assistant professor in 1991. A year later, she was named Wistar Institute Assistant Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Selected Publications

1. Richard AL, Siegel SJ, Erikson J, Weiser JN. TLR2 signaling decreases transmission of Streptococcus pneumoniae by limiting bacterial shedding in an infant mouse Influenza A co-infection model. PLoS Pathog. 2014 Aug 28;10(8):e1004339. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004339. PMID: 25166617

2. Wolf AI, Strauman MC, Mozdzanowska K, Whittle JR, Williams KL, Sharpe AH, Weiser JN, Caton AJ, Hensley SE, Erikson J. Coinfection with Streptococcus pneumoniae modulates the B cell response to influenza virus. J Virol. 2014 Oct;88(20):11995-2005. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01833-14. PMID: 25100838

3. Wolf AI, Strauman MC, Mozdzanowska K, Williams KL, Osborne LC, Shen H, Liu Q, Garlick D, Artis D, Hensley SE, Caton AJ, Weiser JN, Erikson J. Pneumolysin expression by streptococcus pneumoniae protects colonized mice from influenza virus-induced disease. Virology. 2014 Aug;462-463:254-65. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2014.06.019. PMID: 24999050

4. Wang H, Geng J, Wen X, Bi E, Kossenkov AV, Wolf AI, Tas J, Choi YS, Takata H, Day TJ, Chang LY, Sprout SL, Becker EK, Willen J, Tian L, Wang X, Xiao C, Jiang P, Crotty S, Victora GD, Showe LC, Tucker HO, Erikson J, Hu H. The transcription factor Foxp1 is a critical negative regulator of the differentiation of follicular helper T cells. Nat Immunol. 2014 Jul;15(7):667-75. doi: 10.1038/ni.2890. PMID: 24859450

5. Perng OA, Aitken M, Rankin AL, Garcia V, Kropf E, Erikson J, Garlick DS, Caton AJ. The degree of CD4+ T cell autoreactivity determines cellular pathways underlying inflammatory arthritis. J Immunol. 2014 Apr 1;192(7):3043-56. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1302528. PMID: 24591372

6. Bedoya F, Cheng G-S, Leibow A, Zakhary N, Weissler K, Garcia V, Aitken M, Kropf E, Garlick DS, Wherry JE, Erikson J, Caton AJ. 2013. Viral antigen induces differentiation of Foxp3+ natural regulatory T cells in influenza virus-infected mice. J Immunol. 2013 May 10. doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1203302 [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 23667113

7. Laidlaw BJ, Decman V, Ali MA, Abt MC, Wolf AI, Monticelli LA, Mozdzanowska K, Angelosanto JM,Artis D, Erikson J, Wherry EJ. Cooperativity Between CD8+ T Cells, Non-Neutralizing Antibodies, and Alveolar Macrophages Is Important for Heterosubtypic Influenza Virus Immunity. PLoS Pathog 2013,9(3): e1003207. PMID: 23516357

8. Abt MC, Osborne LC, Monticelli LA, Doering TA, Alenghat T, Sonnenberg GF, Paley MA, Antenus M, Williams KL, Erikson J, Wherry EJ, Artis D. 2012. Commensal bacteria calibrate the activation threshold of innate antiviral immunity. Immunity. 37:158-170. PMID: 22705104

9. Wolf AI, Mozdzanowska K, Williams KL, Singer D, Hoffmann R, Caton AJ, Otvos L, Erikson J. 2011. Vaccination with M2e-based multiple antigenic peptides: Characterization of the B cell response and protection efficacy in inbred and outbred mice. PLoS ONE. 6: e28445. PMID: 22180783. PMCID: PMC3236751

10. Protective antiviral antibody responses in a mouse model of influenza virus infection require TACI. Wolf AI, Mozdzanowska K, J Quinn W 3rd, Metzgar M, Williams KL, Caton AJ, Meffre E, Bram RJ, Erickson LD, Allman D, Cancro MP, Erikson J. J Clin Invest. 2011 Oct 3;121(10):3954-64. PMID: 21881204

11. Cozzo Picca C, Simons DM, Oh S, Aitken M, Perng OA, Mergenthaler C, Kropf E, Erikson J, Caton AJ. CD4⁺CD25⁺Foxp3⁺ regulatory T cell formation requires more specific recognition of a self-peptide than thymocyte deletion. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Sep 6;108(36):14890-5. PMID: 21873239

12. Cheng G, Wang LC, Fridlender ZG, Cheng GS, Chen B, Mangalmurti NS, Saloura V, Yu Z, Kapoor V, Mozdzanowska K, Moon E, Sun J, Kreinder JL, Cohen NA, Caton AJ, Erikson J, Albelda SM., Pharmacologic activation of the Innate Immune System to prevent respiratory viral infections., American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology. 2010 Dec 10. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:  21148741

13. Zhou D, Wu TL, Lasaro MO, Latimer BP, Parzych EM, Bian A, Li Y, Li H, Erikson J, Xiang Z, Ertl HC., A universal Influenza A vaccine based on Adenovirus expressing Matrix-2 Ectodomain and Nucleoprotein Protects mice from letal challenge., Molecular Therapy. 2010 Dec;18(12):2182-9. [Epub 2010 Sep 28] PMID:  20877342

14. Simons DM, Picca CC, Oh S, Perng OA, Aitken M, Erikson J, Caton AJ., How specificity for self-peptides shapes the development and function of regulatory T cells., Journal of Leukocyte Biology. 2010 Dec;88(6):1099-107. [Epub 2010 May 21] PMID: 20495071

15. Decman V, Laidlaw BJ, Dimenna LJ, Abdulla S, Mozdzanowska K, Erikson J, Ertl HC, Wherry EJ., Cell-intrinsic defects in the proliferative response of antiviral memory CD8 T cells in aged mice upon secondary infection., Journal of Immunology. 2010 May 1;184(9):5151-9. [Epub 2010 Apr 5] PMID: 20368274

16. Sonnenberg GF, Mangan PR, Bezman NA, Sekiguchi DR, Luning Prak ET, Erikson J, Maltzman JS, Jordan MS, Koretzky GA., Mislocalization of SLP-76 leads to aberrant inflammatory cytokine and autoantibody production., Blood. 2010 Mar 18;115(11):2186-95. [Epub 2009 Dec 22] PMID:20029045

17. Hondowicz BD, Batheja AO, Metzgar MH, Caton AJ, Erikson J., ICOS expression by effector T cells influences the ability of regulatory T cells to inhibit anti-chromatin B cell responses in recipient mice., Journal of Autoimmunity. 2010 Jun;34(4):460-8. [Epub 2009 Dec 22] PMID:20022728

18. Hondowicz BD, Batheja AO, Metzgar MH, Pagán AJ, Perng OA, Willms S, Caton AJ, Erikson J., Efficient help for autoreactive B-cell activation requires CD4+ T-cell recognition of an agonist peptide at the effector stage., European Journal of Immunology. 2009 Sep;39(9):2377-82. PMID: 19662636

19. Mandik-Nayak L, Ridge N, Fields M. Park AY, Erikson J., Role of B cells in systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis., Current Opinion in Immunology. 2008 Dec;20(6):639-45. [Epub 2008 Sep 18] 18775493

20. Hondowicz BD, Fields ML, Nish SA, Larkin J, Caton AJ, Erikson J., Autantibody production in lpr/lpr gld/gld mice reflects accumulation of CD4(+) effector cells that are resistant to regulatory T cell activity., Journal of Autoimmunity. 2008 Sep;31(2):98-109. [E-pub 2008 June 6] PMID: 18539433