Skip to main content

Scott Hale Lab

    Welcome to the Hale Laboratory!

    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.

     Major projects in the lab include:

    • Investigate how different types of infections and protein immunizations affect the lineage commitment versus plasticity and function of Tfh and non-Tfh memory cells.
    • Determine whether Tfh and Th1 memory cells maintain their lineage stability and functions following multiple infections/ boosts, or during persistent viral infection.
    • Gene expression programming mediated by changes in DNA methylation that regulate the differentiation and maintenance of memory T helper cell subsets.
    • The role of the transcription factor Tbet in Tfh and Th1 cell function during acute and chronic viral infection.

    Scott Hale

    Department of Pathology
    University of Utah School of Medicine

    Contact Us

    Emma Eccles Jones Medical Research Building
    15 North Medical Drive East
    Room 2800
    Salt Lake City, UT 84112

    Lab Phone: 801-581-4447
    Office Phone: 801-587-1885

    Lab administrative contact:

    Lab manager:

    Lab Members

    J. Scott Hale, PhD

    View Profile

    Bryant Perkins

    PhD Student


    Bryce Fuchs

    PhD Student


    Nick Nguyen

    PhD Student


    Andrew Richens

    Lab Technician


    Former Members

    Camille Novis, PhD

    Postdoctoral Fellow


    Andrew Baessler

    Graduate Student (Molecular Biology Program)


    Linda Sircy

    Graduate Student


    Monyca Nielsen

    Masters Student

    Malia Harrison-Chau

    Lab Technician

    Kendall Thiede

    Undergraduate Student

    Select Publications

    Tet2 deletion in CD4+ T cells disrupts Th1 lineage commitment in memory cells and enhances T follicular helper cell recall responses to viral rechallenge

    Andrew Baessler, Bryce Fuchs, Bryant Perkins, Andrew W Richens, Camille L Novis, Malia Harrison-Chau, Linda M Sircy, Kendall A Thiede, J Scott Hale

    Immunogen-Specific Strengths and Limitations of the Activation-Induced Marker Assay for Assessing Murine Antigen-Specific CD4+ T Cell Responses

    Nguyen X Nguyen, Andrew W Richens, Linda M Sircy, Denise E Allard, Elizabeth M Kolawole, Brian D Evavold, Maria Bettini, J Scott Hale

    The magnitude of the germinal center B cell and T follicular helper cell response predicts long-lasting antibody titers to plague vaccination

    Darrell R Galloway, Nguyen X Nguyen, Jiahui Li, Nicholas Houston, Gage Gregersen, E Diane Williamson, Frank W Falkenberg, James N Herron, J Scott Hale

    Tet2 coordinates with Foxo1 and Runx1 to balance T follicular helper cell and T helper 1 cell differentiation

    Andrew Baessler, Camille L Novis, Zuolian Shen, Jelena Perovanovic, Mark Wadsworth, Kendall A Thiede, Linda M Sircy, Malia Harrison-Chau, Nguyen X Nguyen, Katherine E Varley, Dean Tantin, J Scott Hale

    Protein Immunization Induces Memory CD4+ T Cells That Lack Th Lineage Commitment

    Linda M Sircy, Malia Harrison-Chau, Camille Leite Novis, Andrew Baessler, Jacklyn Nguyen, J Scott Hale

    Recurrent Tonsillitis Tfh Cells Acquire a Killer Identity

    Andrew Baessler, J Scott Hale

    Additional Publications

    Additional Publications found on Pubmed.