Michael I. Zimmer, Ph.D.

Prof. Mike Zimmer

Prof. Mike Zimmer

Office: Gyte 282
Phone: (219) 989-2491
Email: mzimmer@purduecal.edu


B.S. Biology, California Polytechnic University, Pomona, CA
Ph.D. Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL


  • BIOL 10100 Introductory Biology
  • BIOL 10700 Freshman Experience in Biological Sciences
  • BIOL 22100 Introduction to Microbiology
  • BIOL 29500 Introduction to Global Health
  • BIOL 31600 Basic Microbiology
  • BIOL 42600 Senior Capstone
  • BIOL 49500/59500 Immunology Research
  • BIOL 56100 Immunology
  • BIOL 59500 Advanced Immunology
  • BIOL 59500 Immunology Readings
  • BIOL 59500 Virology

Research Interests

My laboratory is studying immune responses to lipid antigens. Our research has focused on the function of lipid-reactive T cells in health and disease. T cells recognize lipid antigens in the context of CD1 proteins, a family of nonclassical, MHC class I-like molecules. Lipid antigen-specific T cells have been identified in M. tuberculosis-infected individuals and multiple sclerosis patients. However, the precise role of these cells in infectious and autoimmune diseases is unclear.

More recently, we have been studying the function of granulysin, a multifunctional antimicrobial peptide produced by cytotoxic lymphocytes. In addition to being cytolytic, granulysin has been reported to be proinflammatory and chemotactic, and may function as a lipid-binding protein. Exactly how granulysin is able to perform all of these functions is currently unclear.

A better understanding of the role of lipid-reactive T cells and granulysin in immunity may lead to novel therapeutic and vaccination strategies using lipid antigens.

Selected Publications

Chia-Min Liao, Michael I. Zimmer, and Chyung-Ru Wang. The Functions of Type I and Type II Natural Killer T Cells in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. Inflamm. Bowel Dis. 2013; in press.

Chia-Min Liao, Michael I. Zimmer, Sharmila Shanmuganad, Hon-Tsen Yu, Susanna L. Cardell, and Chyung-Ru Wang. Dysregulation of CD1d-Restricted Type II Natural Killer T Cells Leads to Spontaneous Development of Colitis in Mice. Gastroenterology 2012; 142:326-334.

Kyrie Felio, Hanh Nguyen, Christopher C. Dascher, Hak-Jong Choi, Sha Li, Michael I. Zimmer, Angela Colmone, D. Branch Moody, Michael B. Brenner, and Chyung-Ru Wang. CD1-restricted adaptive immune responses to Mycobacteria in human group 1 CD1 transgenic mice. J. Exp. Med. 2009; 206:2497-2509.

Michael I. Zimmer, Hanh Nguyen, Bin Wang, Honglin Xu, Angela Colmone, Kyrie Felio, Hak-Jong Choi, Ping Zhou, Maria-Luisa Alegre, and Chyung-Ru Wang. Polymorphisms in CD1d Affect Antigen Presentation and CD1d-Restricted T Cell Responses. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 2009; 106:1909-14.

Michael I. Zimmer, Angela Colmone, Kyrie Felio, Honglin Xu, Averil Ma, and Chyung-Ru Wang. A Cell-Type Specific CD1d Expression Program Modulates iNKT Cell Development and Function. J. Immunol. 2006; 176:1421-1430.

Yuequan Shen, Natalia L. Zhukovskaya, Michael I. Zimmer, Sandriyana Soelaiman, Pamela Bergson, Chyung-Ru Wang, Craig S. Gibbs, and Wei-Jen Tang. Selective inhibition of anthrax edema factor by adefovir, a drug for chronic hepatitis B virus infection. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 2004; 101:3242-3247.

Larry A. Harshyne, Michael I. Zimmer, Simon C. Watkins, and Simon M. Barratt-Boyes. A Role for Class A Scavenger Receptor in Dendritic Cell Nibbling from Live Cells. J. Immunol. 2003; 170:2302-2309.

Simon M. Barratt-Boyes, Michael I. Zimmer, Larry Harshyne. Changes in Dendritic Cell Migration and Activation During SIV Infection Suggest a Role in Initial Viral Spread and Eventual Immunosuppression. J. Med. Primatol. 2002; 31:1-8.

Michael I. Zimmer, Adriana T. Larregina, Cielo M. Castillo, Saverio Capuano III, Louis D. Falo, Jr., Michael Murphey-Corb, Todd A. Reinhart, and Simon Barratt-Boyes. Disrupted Homeostasis of Langerhans Cells and Interdigitating Dendritic Cells in Monkeys with AIDS. Blood. 2002; 99:2859-2868.

Simon M. Barratt-Boyes, Michael I. Zimmer, Larry A. Harshyne, E. Michael Meyer, Simon C. Watkins, Saverio Capuano III, Michael Murphey-Corb, Louis D. Falo, Jr., and Albert D. Donnenberg. Maturation and Trafficking of Monocyte-Derived Dendritic Cells in Monkeys: Implications for Dendritic Cell-Based Vaccines. J. Immunol. 2000; 164:2487-2495.


Indiana Academy of Science, 2013