Immunology Faculty Member - Ruaidhrí Jackson, PhD

Ruaidhrí Jackson, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Immunology

Harvard Medical School
New Research Building
77 Avenue Louis Pastuer
Boston, MA 02115
Visit my lab page here.

Mucosal Immunobiology

The mucosal barriers of the body facilitate the arduous task of promoting symbiosis with the resident microbiota while simultaneously preventing microbial invasion and pathogenic inflammation. We aim to uncover not only how tissue-wide homeostasis is achieved but also how its breakdown can be averted to prevent disease by identifying 1) novel molecules, 2) sensory pathways and 3) inter cellular signaling circuits.

1) Translation Immunity
Using genome-wide transcriptomic and translatomic sequencing approaches during inflammation, we have identified a vast array of transcripts with interesting translation dynamics and/or novel protein coding potential. Using a combination of forward and reverse genetic approaches, we aim to delineate the function of these unknown proteins and interrogate their contribution to inflammation and disease.

2) New Sensors of Inflammation
Innate immune cells utilize a plethora of membrane-bound and intracellular sensors that directly recognize microbial invasion to mount an inflammatory response. We have discovered that immune cells express a mechanosensory ion channel that triggers inflammation in response to pulmonary fluctuations in cyclical pressure during mucosal infection and fibrosis. Identification of novel strategies utilized by cells in the tissue microenvironment to instruct immunity is a major direction of our research.

3) Neuro-Epithelial Immunology
We have recently uncovered that enteric neuron expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines is vital for epithelial cell-mediated antimicrobial barrier defense. Understanding how neurons communicate with the entire cellular architecture of the mucosa to influence homeostasis, inflammation and disease is of the foremost interest to our ongoing studies.

Last Update: 1/24/2020


For a complete listing of publications click here.



Enteric Nervous System Derived IL-18 Orchestrates Mucosal Barrier Immunity. Cell. 2020 180(50-63). Jarret A*, Jackson R*#, Duizer C, Healy ME, Zhao J, Rone JM, Bielecki P, Sefik E, Roulis M, Rice T, Sivanathan KN, Zhou T, Solis AG, Honcharova-Biletska H, Vélez K, Hartner S, LowJS, Qu R, R. de Zoete MR,. Palm NW, Ring AM, Weber A, Moor AE, Kluger Y, Nowarski R# and Flavell RA#.​ *Co First Author and #Co Corresponding Author.

Mechanosensation of cyclical force by PIEZO1 is essential for innate immunity. Nature. 2019, 573(7772):69-74. Solis AG, Bielecki P, Steach HR, Sharma L, Harman CCD, Yun S, de Zoete MR, Warnock JN, To SDF, York AG, Mack M, Schwartz MA, Dela Cruz SS, Palm NW, Jackson R#, Flavell RA#. #Co Corresponding Author.

The Translation of Non-Canonical Open Reading Frames Controls Mucosal Immunity. Nature. 2018, 564:434-438. Jackson R, Kroehling L, Khitun A, Bailis W, Jarret A, York AG, Khan OM, Brewer JR, Skadow MH, Duizer C, Harman CCD, Chang L, Bielecki P, Solis AG, Steach HR, Slavoff S, Flavell RA.

Epithelial IL-18 Equilibrium Controls Barrier Function in Colitis Cell. 2015, 163(6):1444-56. Nowarski R*, Jackson R*, Gagliani N, de Zoete M, Palm NW, Bailis W, Low J.S, Harman CD, Graham M, Elinav E, Flavell RA. *Co First Author.

© 2016 President and Fellows
of Harvard College