Jeffrey Bluestone is one of the world’s leading immunologists in the field of T-cell activation and co-stimulation.
In the late 1990s, he and colleagues at the University of Chicago discovered that a protein called CTLA-4 could “put the brakes” on the immune system. This work, complementing that of researchers at other institutions, eventually provided the scientific basis for the first generation of “checkpoint inhibitors,” a revolutionary class of drugs that has in instrumental in establishing modern cancer immunotherapy.
In his autoimmunity research, Bluestone’s work has led to the development of multiple therapies that promote immune tolerance, including CTLA4Ig (Abatacept), used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis; to the first FDA-approved drug targeting T-cell co-stimulation to treat autoimmune disease and organ transplant rejection (Belatacept); and to a novel anti-human-CD3 antibody now being developed to treat type 1 diabetes. His recent research has focused on the critical role of regulatory T cells in autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, lupus, and multiple sclerosis, a role that has been exploited in cell-based therapies to treat autoimmune diseases and rejection of transplanted organs.
Bluestone founded and served for 10 years as director of the Immune Tolerance Network, the largest NIH-funded multicenter clinical immunology research program. He was executive vice chancellor and provost at UC San Francisco and is a former director of the UCSF Diabetes Center. He has authored more than 400 peer-reviewed publications and has received numerous honors for his work, including election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine.
Named to the Blue Ribbon Panel advising on former Vice President Joe Biden’s “Cancer Moonshot” initiative, Bluestone is the recipient of both the Gerold and Kayla Grodsky Basic Science Award and the Mary Tyler Moore and S. Robert Levine Excellence in Clinical Research Award from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Sessions as a Speaker
- Marriott Marquis: Salon 8