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Leslie J Berg PhD

TitleAdjunct Professor
InstitutionUniversity of Massachusetts Medical School
DepartmentPathology
AddressUniversity of Massachusetts Medical School
55 Lake Avenue North
Worcester MA 01655
Phone508-856-8371
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    Other Positions
    InstitutionUMMS - School of Medicine
    DepartmentPathology
    DivisionAcademic Pathology

    InstitutionUMMS - Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
    DepartmentImmunology and Virology

    InstitutionUMMS - Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
    DepartmentInterdisciplinary Graduate Program

    InstitutionUMMS - Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
    DepartmentMD/PhD Program


    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse education and training
    Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, United StatesBABiology
    University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, United StatesPHDMolecular Biology
    Collapse awards and honors
    2001Pharmingen Investigator Award for Outstanding Contributions to the field of Immunology, American Association of Immunologists
    2002Chestnut Hill Award for Excellence in Research, The Medical Foundation
    2002Outstanding Educator Award, UMMS
    2003Educational Achievement Star Award, UMMS
    2004Women in Science and Health Achievement Award, UMMS
    2006Distinguished Service Award, American Association of Immunologists
    2006Outstanding Mentoring Award, UMMS
    2010Lamar Souter Award for Excellence in Medical Education, UMMS
    2011President, American Association of Immunologists

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse overview

    Dr. Leslie Berg

    T lymphocyte development and activation

    The research in my laboratory is aimed at understanding the signal transduction pathways importantforTlymphocyte development and activation. For these studies, we use a combination of mouse genetics (transgenics and knockouts), biochemistry, and cellular immunology. Our current work focuses on three projects. First, we have identified a tyrosine kinase, Jak3, involved in cytokine receptor signaling, and have generated Jak3-deficient mice. These mice have severe defects in lymphocyte development and function. Second, we have identified a novel tyrosine kinase, Itk, involved in T cell receptor signaling. Using Itk-deficient mice generated in the lab we are currently examining the role of this protein in lymphocyte development and activation.



    Collapse Rotation Projects


    Potential Rotation Projects



    Please contact me at leslie.berg@umassmed.edu for information about current rotation projects.



    Collapse Post Docs

    A postdoctoral position is available to study in this laboratory. Contact Dr. Berg for additional details.


    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse selected publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
    List All   |   Timeline
    1. Cho HS, Reboldi A, Hall JA, Berg LJ. The Tec kinase ITK is essential for ILC2 survival and epithelial integrity in the intestine. Nat Commun. 2019 Feb 15; 10(1):784. PMID: 30770814.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Olesin E, Nayar R, Saikumar-Lakshmi P, Berg LJ. The Transcription Factor Runx2 Is Required for Long-Term Persistence of Antiviral CD8+ Memory T Cells. Immunohorizons. 2018 Aug; 2(7):251-261. PMID: 30264035.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Gallagher MP, Conley JM, Berg LJ. Peptide Antigen Concentration Modulates Digital NFAT1 Activation in Primary Mouse Naive CD8+ T Cells as Measured by Flow Cytometry of Isolated Cell Nuclei. Immunohorizons. 2018 Aug; 2(7):208-215. PMID: 30221251.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Andreotti AH, Joseph RE, Conley JM, Iwasa J, Berg LJ. Multidomain Control Over TEC Kinase Activation State Tunes the T Cell Response. Annu Rev Immunol. 2018 Apr 26; 36:549-578. PMID: 29677469.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Shin HM, Kapoor VN, Kim G, Li P, Kim HR, Suresh M, Kaech SM, Wherry EJ, Selin LK, Leonard WJ, Welsh RM, Berg LJ. Transient expression of ZBTB32 in anti-viral CD8+ T cells limits the magnitude of the effector response and the generation of memory. PLoS Pathog. 2017 Aug; 13(8):e1006544. PMID: 28827827.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Falanga YT, Frascoli M, Kaymaz Y, Forconi C, Ong'echa JM, Bailey JA, Berg LJ, Moormann AM. High pathogen burden in childhood promotes the development of unconventional innate-like CD8+ T cells. JCI Insight. 2017 Aug 03; 2(15). PMID: 28768916.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Gallagher MP, Berg LJ. Gene-enhancer variants reveal diverse TCR-mediated differentiation. Nat Immunol. 2017 Apr 18; 18(5):483-484. PMID: 28418392.
      View in: PubMed
    8. Marshall NB, Vong AM, Devarajan P, Brauner MD, Kuang Y, Nayar R, Schutten EA, Castonguay CH, Berg LJ, Nutt SL, Swain SL. NKG2C/E Marks the Unique Cytotoxic CD4 T Cell Subset, ThCTL, Generated by Influenza Infection. J Immunol. 2017 Feb 01; 198(3):1142-1155. PMID: 28031335.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Urban SL, Berg LJ, Welsh RM. Type 1 interferon licenses naïve CD8 T cells to mediate anti-viral cytotoxicity. Virology. 2016 Jun; 493:52-9. PMID: 26999026.
      View in: PubMed
    10. Conley JM, Gallagher MP, Berg LJ. T Cells and Gene Regulation: The Switching On and Turning Up of Genes after T Cell Receptor Stimulation in CD8 T Cells. Front Immunol. 2016; 7:76. PMID: 26973653.
      View in: PubMed
    11. Nayar R, Schutten E, Jangalwe S, Durost PA, Kenney LL, Conley JM, Daniels K, Brehm MA, Welsh RM, Berg LJ. IRF4 Regulates the Ratio of T-Bet to Eomesodermin in CD8+ T Cells Responding to Persistent LCMV Infection. PLoS One. 2015; 10(12):e0144826. PMID: 26714260.
      View in: PubMed
    12. Cho HS, Shin HM, Haberstock-Debic H, Xing Y, Owens TD, Funk JO, Hill RJ, Bradshaw JM, Berg LJ. A Small Molecule Inhibitor of ITK and RLK Impairs Th1 Differentiation and Prevents Colitis Disease Progression. J Immunol. 2015 Nov 15; 195(10):4822-31. PMID: 26466958.
      View in: PubMed
    13. Wu T, Shin HM, Moseman EA, Ji Y, Huang B, Harly C, Sen JM, Berg LJ, Gattinoni L, McGavern DB, Schwartzberg PL. TCF1 Is Required for the T Follicular Helper Cell Response to Viral Infection. Cell Rep. 2015 Sep 29; 12(12):2099-110. PMID: 26365183.
      View in: PubMed
    14. Sharma S, Campbell AM, Chan J, Schattgen SA, Orlowski GM, Nayar R, Huyler AH, Nündel K, Mohan C, Berg LJ, Shlomchik MJ, Marshak-Rothstein A, Fitzgerald KA. Suppression of systemic autoimmunity by the innate immune adaptor STING. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Feb 17; 112(7):E710-7. PMID: 25646421.
      View in: PubMed
    15. Pereira RM, Martinez GJ, Engel I, Cruz-Guilloty F, Barboza BA, Tsagaratou A, Lio CW, Berg LJ, Lee Y, Kronenberg M, Bandukwala HS, Rao A. Jarid2 is induced by TCR signalling and controls iNKT cell maturation. Nat Commun. 2014 Aug 08; 5:4540. PMID: 25105474.
      View in: PubMed
    16. Prince AL, Kraus Z, Carty SA, Ng C, Yin CC, Jordan MS, Schwartzberg PL, Berg LJ. Development of innate CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in Itk-deficient mice is regulated by distinct pathways. J Immunol. 2014 Jul 15; 193(2):688-99. PMID: 24943215.
      View in: PubMed
    17. Kapoor VN, Shin HM, Cho OH, Berg LJ, Kang J, Welsh RM. Regulation of tissue-dependent differences in CD8+ T cell apoptosis during viral infection. J Virol. 2014 Sep 1; 88(17):9490-503. PMID: 24942579.
      View in: PubMed
    18. Prince AL, Watkin LB, Yin CC, Selin LK, Kang J, Schwartzberg PL, Berg LJ. Innate PLZF+CD4+ aß T cells develop and expand in the absence of Itk. J Immunol. 2014 Jul 15; 193(2):673-87. PMID: 24928994.
      View in: PubMed
    19. Nayar R, Schutten E, Bautista B, Daniels K, Prince AL, Enos M, Brehm MA, Swain SL, Welsh RM, Berg LJ. Graded levels of IRF4 regulate CD8+ T cell differentiation and expansion, but not attrition, in response to acute virus infection. J Immunol. 2014 Jun 15; 192(12):5881-93. PMID: 24835398.
      View in: PubMed
    20. Jain N, Miu B, Jiang JK, McKinstry KK, Prince A, Swain SL, Greiner DL, Thomas CJ, Sanderson MJ, Berg LJ, Kang J. CD28 and ITK signals regulate autoreactive T cell trafficking. Nat Med. 2013 Dec; 19(12):1632-7. PMID: 24270545.
      View in: PubMed
    21. Shin HM, Kapoor VN, Guan T, Kaech SM, Welsh RM, Berg LJ. Epigenetic modifications induced by Blimp-1 Regulate CD8? T cell memory progression during acute virus infection. Immunity. 2013 Oct 17; 39(4):661-75. PMID: 24120360.
      View in: PubMed
    22. Joseph RE, Kleino I, Wales TE, Xie Q, Fulton DB, Engen JR, Berg LJ, Andreotti AH. Activation loop dynamics determine the different catalytic efficiencies of B cell- and T cell-specific tec kinases. Sci Signal. 2013 Aug 27; 6(290):ra76. PMID: 23982207.
      View in: PubMed
    23. Malhotra N, Narayan K, Cho OH, Sylvia KE, Yin C, Melichar H, Rashighi M, Lefebvre V, Harris JE, Berg LJ, Kang J. A network of high-mobility group box transcription factors programs innate interleukin-17 production. Immunity. 2013 Apr 18; 38(4):681-93. PMID: 23562159.
      View in: PubMed
    24. Yin CC, Cho OH, Sylvia KE, Narayan K, Prince AL, Evans JW, Kang J, Berg LJ. The Tec kinase ITK regulates thymic expansion, emigration, and maturation of ?d NKT cells. J Immunol. 2013 Mar 15; 190(6):2659-69. PMID: 23378428.
      View in: PubMed
    25. Berg LJ. Signaling pathways that regulate T cell development and differentiation. J Immunol. 2012 Dec 15; 189(12):5487-8. PMID: 23225893.
      View in: PubMed
    26. Nayar R, Enos M, Prince A, Shin H, Hemmers S, Jiang JK, Klein U, Thomas CJ, Berg LJ. TCR signaling via Tec kinase ITK and interferon regulatory factor 4 (IRF4) regulates CD8+ T-cell differentiation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Oct 9; 109(41):E2794-802. PMID: 23011795.
      View in: PubMed
    27. Narayan K, Sylvia KE, Malhotra N, Yin CC, Martens G, Vallerskog T, Kornfeld H, Xiong N, Cohen NR, Brenner MB, Berg LJ, Kang J. Intrathymic programming of effector fates in three molecularly distinct ?d T cell subtypes. Nat Immunol. 2012 Apr 01; 13(5):511-8. PMID: 22473038.
      View in: PubMed
    28. Chang JT, Ciocca ML, Kinjyo I, Palanivel VR, McClurkin CE, Dejong CS, Mooney EC, Kim JS, Steinel NC, Oliaro J, Yin CC, Florea BI, Overkleeft HS, Berg LJ, Russell SM, Koretzky GA, Jordan MS, Reiner SL. Asymmetric proteasome segregation as a mechanism for unequal partitioning of the transcription factor T-bet during T lymphocyte division. Immunity. 2011 Apr 22; 34(4):492-504. PMID: 21497118.
      View in: PubMed
    29. Marshall HD, Prince AL, Berg LJ, Welsh RM. IFN-alpha beta and self-MHC divert CD8 T cells into a distinct differentiation pathway characterized by rapid acquisition of effector functions. J Immunol. 2010 Aug 1; 185(3):1419-28. PMID: 20592282.
      View in: PubMed
    30. Andreotti AH, Schwartzberg PL, Joseph RE, Berg LJ. T-cell signaling regulated by the Tec family kinase, Itk. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2010 Jul; 2(7):a002287. PMID: 20519342.
      View in: PubMed
    31. Min L, Wu W, Joseph RE, Fulton DB, Berg L, Andreotti AH. Disrupting the intermolecular self-association of Itk enhances T cell signaling. J Immunol. 2010 Apr 15; 184(8):4228-35. PMID: 20237289.
      View in: PubMed
    32. Berg LJ. Strength of T cell receptor signaling strikes again. Immunity. 2009 Oct 16; 31(4):529-31. PMID: 19833081.
      View in: PubMed
    33. Shi M, Lin TH, Appell KC, Berg LJ. Cell cycle progression following naive T cell activation is independent of Jak3/common gamma-chain cytokine signals. J Immunol. 2009 Oct 1; 183(7):4493-501. PMID: 19734221.
      View in: PubMed
    34. Sacristán C, Schattgen SA, Berg LJ, Bunnell SC, Roy AL, Rosenstein Y. Characterization of a novel interaction between transcription factor TFII-I and the inducible tyrosine kinase in T cells. Eur J Immunol. 2009 Sep; 39(9):2584-95. PMID: 19701889.
      View in: PubMed
    35. Felices M, Yin CC, Kosaka Y, Kang J, Berg LJ. Tec kinase Itk in gammadeltaT cells is pivotal for controlling IgE production in vivo. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 May 19; 106(20):8308-13. PMID: 19416854.
      View in: PubMed
    36. Prince AL, Yin CC, Enos ME, Felices M, Berg LJ. The Tec kinases Itk and Rlk regulate conventional versus innate T-cell development. Immunol Rev. 2009 Mar; 228(1):115-31. PMID: 19290924.
      View in: PubMed
    37. Wu W, Berg LJ. c-Abl, an additional tyrosine kinase required for T cell development and function. Cell Cycle. 2008 Dec 15; 7(24):3791. PMID: 19151583.
      View in: PubMed
    38. Berg LJ. The "bubble boy" paradox: an answer that led to a question. J Immunol. 2008 Nov 1; 181(9):5815-6. PMID: 18941168.
      View in: PubMed
    39. Shi M, Lin TH, Appell KC, Berg LJ. Janus-kinase-3-dependent signals induce chromatin remodeling at the Ifng locus during T helper 1 cell differentiation. Immunity. 2008 Jun; 28(6):763-73. PMID: 18549798.
      View in: PubMed
    40. Felices M, Berg LJ. The Tec kinases Itk and Rlk regulate NKT cell maturation, cytokine production, and survival. J Immunol. 2008 Mar 1; 180(5):3007-18. PMID: 18292523.
      View in: PubMed
    41. Lucas JA, Felices M, Evans JW, Berg LJ. Subtle defects in pre-TCR signaling in the absence of the Tec kinase Itk. J Immunol. 2007 Dec 1; 179(11):7561-7. PMID: 18025201.
      View in: PubMed
    42. Berg LJ. Signalling through TEC kinases regulates conventional versus innate CD8(+) T-cell development. Nat Rev Immunol. 2007 Jun; 7(6):479-85. PMID: 17479128.
      View in: PubMed
    43. Felices M, Falk M, Kosaka Y, Berg LJ. Tec kinases in T cell and mast cell signaling. Adv Immunol. 2007; 93:145-84. PMID: 17383541.
      View in: PubMed
    44. Kosaka Y, Felices M, Berg LJ. Itk and Th2 responses: action but no reaction. Trends Immunol. 2006 Oct; 27(10):453-60. PMID: 16931156.
      View in: PubMed
    45. Atherly LO, Lucas JA, Felices M, Yin CC, Reiner SL, Berg LJ. The Tec family tyrosine kinases Itk and Rlk regulate the development of conventional CD8+ T cells. Immunity. 2006 Jul; 25(1):79-91. PMID: 16860759.
      View in: PubMed
    46. Mayack SR, Berg LJ. Cutting edge: an alternative pathway of CD4+ T cell differentiation is induced following activation in the absence of gamma-chain-dependent cytokine signals. J Immunol. 2006 Feb 15; 176(4):2059-63. PMID: 16455959.
      View in: PubMed
    47. Atherly LO, Brehm MA, Welsh RM, Berg LJ. Tec kinases Itk and Rlk are required for CD8+ T cell responses to virus infection independent of their role in CD4+ T cell help. J Immunol. 2006 Feb 1; 176(3):1571-81. PMID: 16424186.
      View in: PubMed
    48. Li CR, Berg LJ. Itk is not essential for CD28 signaling in naive T cells. J Immunol. 2005 Apr 15; 174(8):4475-9. PMID: 15814667.
      View in: PubMed
    49. Berg LJ, Finkelstein LD, Lucas JA, Schwartzberg PL. Tec family kinases in T lymphocyte development and function. Annu Rev Immunol. 2005; 23:549-600. PMID: 15771581.
      View in: PubMed
    50. Miller AT, Wilcox HM, Lai Z, Berg LJ. Signaling through Itk promotes T helper 2 differentiation via negative regulation of T-bet. Immunity. 2004 Jul; 21(1):67-80. PMID: 15345221.
      View in: PubMed
    51. Berg LJ, Nussenzweig M. Signals that regulate lymphocyte development and differentiation. Curr Opin Immunol. 2004 Apr; 16(2):163-6. PMID: 15023408.
      View in: PubMed
    52. Wilcox HM, Berg LJ. Itk phosphorylation sites are required for functional activity in primary T cells. J Biol Chem. 2003 Sep 26; 278(39):37112-21. PMID: 12842872.
      View in: PubMed
    53. Lucas JA, Miller AT, Atherly LO, Berg LJ. The role of Tec family kinases in T cell development and function. Immunol Rev. 2003 Feb; 191:119-38. PMID: 12614356.
      View in: PubMed
    54. Vergara-Silva A, Schaefer KL, Berg LJ. Compartmentalized Eph receptor and ephrin expression in the thymus. Gene Expr Patterns. 2002 Dec; 2(3-4):261-5. PMID: 12617812.
      View in: PubMed
    55. Vergara-Silva A, Schaefer KL, Berg LJ. Compartmentalized Eph receptor and ephrin expression in the thymus. Mech Dev. 2002 Dec; 119 Suppl 1:S225-9. PMID: 14516690.
      View in: PubMed
    56. Lucas JA, Atherly LO, Berg LJ. The absence of Itk inhibits positive selection without changing lineage commitment. J Immunol. 2002 Jun 15; 168(12):6142-51. PMID: 12055226.
      View in: PubMed
    57. Miller AT, Berg LJ. New insights into the regulation and functions of Tec family tyrosine kinases in the immune system. Curr Opin Immunol. 2002 Jun; 14(3):331-40. PMID: 11973131.
      View in: PubMed
    58. Miller AT, Berg LJ. Defective Fas ligand expression and activation-induced cell death in the absence of IL-2-inducible T cell kinase. J Immunol. 2002 Mar 1; 168(5):2163-72. PMID: 11859102.
      View in: PubMed
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