J. Scott Hale, PhD


Lab Website


  • English

Academic Information

  • Departments: Pathology - Assistant Professor
  • Divisions: Microbiology and Immunology

Academic Office Information

  • 801-587-1885
  • Emma Eccles Jones Medical Research Building
    Department of Pathology
    15 N Medical Dr E, Room: 1420
    Salt Lake City, UT

Email: scott.hale@path.utah.edu

Research Statement

My laboratory studies T cells and their role in the generation of immunological memory in response to viral infection and immunization. Upon activation, naïve CD4+ T cells proliferate and differentiate to become distinct types of T helper cell subsets that have specialized effector functions that are tailored to protect the host against the specific type of invading pathogen. During acute viral infection, newly activated CD4+ T cells differentiate into two functionally distinct T helper cell subsets: 1) Th1 cells that secrete IFNγ and contribute to cell-mediated immunity; and 2) Follicular helper T cells (Tfh) that migrate to B cell follicles and provide critical help to germinal center B cells and the generation of long-lived antibody responses. Following viral clearance, these subsets of T helper cells can become long-lived memory T cells that are poised to rapidly respond to reinfection by recalling their effector functions. Our studies focus on understanding the signals and mechanisms that promote the differentiation of these functionally unique subsets of effector and memory T cells and determine how these cells can be utilized to improve protective immune responses. We utilize various models of infection and vaccination in mice to study the basic mechanisms of T cell differentiation and function. We take advantage of mouse knockout and conditional knockout models to understand how transcription factors and epigenetic regulators modulate the gene expression programing and function of pathogen-specific effector and memory T cell subsets. Understanding how T cells acquire and maintain their specialized functions will provide important insights that can be used to improve prime and boost vaccination strategies to generate long-lived protective immunity against infectious diseases.

Education History

Type School Degree
Postdoctoral Fellowship Emory University School of Medicine
Microbiology and Immunology
Postdoctoral Fellow
Doctoral Training University of Washington
Undergraduate University of Utah
Major: Biology, Minor: Chemistry

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  1. Arthur CM, Patel SR, Smith NH, Bennett A, Kamili NA, Mener A, Gerner-Smidt C, Sullivan HC, Hale JS, Wieland A, Youngblood B, Zimring JC, Hendrickson JE, Stowell SR (2017). Antigen Density Dictates Immune Responsiveness following Red Blood Cell Transfusion. J Immunol, 198(7), 2671-2680.
  2. Ye L, Lee J, Xu L, Mohammed AU, Li W, Hale JS, Tan WG, Wu T, Davis CW, Ahmed R, Araki K (2017). mTOR Promotes Antiviral Humoral Immunity by Differentially Regulating CD4 Helper T Cell and B Cell Responses.LID - e01653-16 [pii]LID - 10.1128/JVI.01653-16 [doi]. J Virol, 91(4).
  3. Im SJ, Hashimoto M, Gerner MY, Lee J, Kissick HT, Burger MC, Shan Q, Hale JS, Lee J, Nasti TH, Sharpe AH, Freeman GJ, Germain RN, Nakaya HI, Xue HH, Ahmed R (2016). Defining CD8+ T cells that provide the proliferative burst after PD-1 therapy. Nature, 537(7620), 417-421.
  4. Wu T, Wieland A, Lee J, Hale JS, Han JH, Xu X, Ahmed R (2015). Cutting Edge: miR-17-92 Is Required for Both CD4 Th1 and T Follicular Helper Cell Responses during Viral Infection. J Immunol, 195(6), 2515-9.
  5. Hale JS, Youngblood B, Latner DR, Mohammed AU, Ye L, Akondy RS, Wu T, Iyer SS, Ahmed R (2013). Distinct memory CD4+ T cells with commitment to T follicular helper- and T helper 1-cell lineages are generated after acute viral infection. Immunity, 38(4), 805-17.
  6. Iyer SS, Latner DR, Zilliox MJ, McCausland M, Akondy RS, Penaloza-Macmaster P, Hale JS, Ye L, Mohammed AU, Yamaguchi T, Sakaguchi S, Amara RR, Ahmed R (2013). Identification of novel markers for mouse CD4(+) T follicular helper cells. Eur J Immunol, 43(12), 3219-32.
  7. Wu T, Wieland A, Araki K, Davis CW, Ye L, Hale JS, Ahmed R (2012). Temporal expression of microRNA cluster miR-17-92 regulates effector and memory CD8+ T-cell differentiation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 109(25), 9965-70.
  8. Youngblood B, Hale JS, Kissick HT, Ahn E, Xu X, Wieland A, Araki K, West EE, Ghoneim HE, Fan Y, Dogra P, Davis CW, Konieczy BT, Antia R, Cheng X, and Ahmed R (Accepted). Fate-permissive effector CD8 T cells dedifferentiate into long-lived memory cells. Nature.


  1. Hale JS, Ahmed R (2015). Memory T follicular helper CD4 T cells. [Review]. Frontiers in Immunology, 6, 16.
  2. Youngblood B, Hale JS, Ahmed R (2015). Memory CD8 T cell transcriptional plasticity. [Review]. F1000 Prime Reports, 7, 38.
  3. Youngblood B, Hale JS, Ahmed R (2013). T-cell memory differentiation: insights from transcriptional signatures and epigenetics. [Review]. Immunology, 139(3), 277-84.
  4. Youngblood B, Hale JS, Akondy R (2013). Using epigenetics to define vaccine-induced memory T cells. [Review]. Curr Opin Virol, 3(3), 371-6.