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Joel Crespo
e-mail address: jlcrespo@umich.edu

Mentor: Weiping Zou, MD, PhD

Research Description

Naïve T cells are thought to be quiescent cells with no active functional characteristics. After activation, the majority of microRNAs are reduced in naïve T cells. We observed that some naïve T cells highly expressed certain effector cytokines and probably certain microRNAs. These cytokine expressing naïve T cells were found in peripheral blood and tumor tissues, and enriched in umbilical cord blood. After TCR engagement, these naïve T cells lose their cytokine expression. Our research goals are to understand the phenotype and sources of these naïve T cells,  determine whether these naïve T cells play an active role in functionally shaping the immune response, and explore the mechanisms by which they maintain their effector property in the context of naïve nature.


Crespo J, Sun H, Welling TH, Tian Z, Zou W. 2013. T cell anergy, exhaustion, senescence, and stemness in the tumor microenvironment. Curr Opin Immunol 25: 214-21

Guirnalda P, Wood L, Goenka R, Crespo J, Paterson P. 2013. Expression of CXCL9/Mig in tumors is induced by IFNγ and regulates T cell subset distribution following immunotherapy with Listeria monocytogenes. Oncoimmunology 2:e25752


Joel Crespo, Ilona Kryczek, Weiping Zou.“Functional heterogeneity of human naïve T cells” Immunology Program Retreat, Maumee Bay Lodge and Conference Center in Toledo, Ohio, May 2014. Poster Awarded.

Joel Crespo, Ilona Kryczek, Weiping Zou. “Functional heterogeneity of human naïve T cells” Moses Gunn Research Conference, University of Michigan- Ann Arbor, Michigan, April 2014.




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