Our primary research interests are in the areas of Biology of Inflammatory Syndromes and Integrative Physiology of Aging. On inflammation biology, our diseases of interest are adult rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and juvenile dermatomyositis. Studies are aimed at examining functional subsets of T cells that either alleviate or aggravate disease manifestation and how such cell subsets are affected by medications or are themselves effectors of favorable outcomes of medications. The ultimate goal of these studies is to develop alternative cell-targeted therapies.
On Aging Biology, we take a developmental view of aging rather than focusing on terminal/late years of life. Projects examine the aging process across the life span, including mechanisms of lymphocyte senescence, immune/endocrine interactions in the regulation of life span, and immunologic predictors of health outcomes of aging and longevity. These studies include analyses of tissue specimens from human subjects from two large cohorts of elderly persons and from a novel long-lived mouse model. The goal of these projects is to develop age-targeted strategies to enhance immune function.
Professional Affiliations/Society Memberships
- American Association of Immunologists
- American College of Rheumatology
- Gerontological Society of America
- Growth Hormone Research Society
- The Royal Society of Medicine
Editorial Boards (current)
- Associate Editor, Inflammation, Frontiers in Immunology
- Editorial Board, Aging and Disease
Study Sections and Review Panels (last three years)
- Member, National Scientific Advisory Council (NSAC), American Federation of Aging Research
- Ad hoc, Hypersensitivity, Allergy, Immune-mediated Diseases (HAI) Study Section, CSR, NIH
- Review Panel, Peter J. Pappas Awards, Preeclampsia Foundation
- Review Panel, Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives in Biological, Life, and Health Sciences, University of California System
- Review Panel, Irene Diamond Fellowship Awards, American Federation for Aging Research
- Review Panel, CMRF Awards, University of Pittsburgh
Departmental and University Service
- Manager, XRad User Facility, John G. Rangos Sr. Research Center
- Faculty Administrator, Pediatric Fellowship Scholarly Project, Children’s Hospital of
- Elected Member, Tenure and Academic Freedom Committee, University Senate
- Elected Member, Faculty Assembly, University Senate
- Appointed Member, Senate Council, University of Pittsburgh
- Appointed Member, Provost Committee on Faculty Promotion and Tenure
Biology of inflammatory syndromes
- Ferguson ID, Griffin P, Michel JJ, Yano H, Gaffen SL, Mueller RG, Dvergsten JA, Piganelli JD, Rosenkranz ME, Kietz DA, Vallejo AN. 2018. T Cell Receptor-Independent, CD31/IL-17A-Driven Inflammatory Axis Shapes Synovitis in Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. Front Immunol. 9:1802. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.01802.
- Fitzpatrick ME, Singh V, Bertolet M, Lucht L, Kessinger C, Michel J, Logar A, Weinman DR, McMahon D, Norris KA, Vallejo AN, Morris A. 2014. Relationships of pulmonary function, inflammation, and T cell activation and senescence in an HIV-infected cohort. AIDS 28:2505-2515.
- Dvergsten JA, Mueller RG, Griffin P, Abedin S, Pishko A, Michel JJ, Rosenkranz ME, Reed AM, Kietz DA, Vallejo AN. 2013. Premature cell senescence and T cell receptor-independent activation of CD8T cells in juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Arthritis Rheum 65:2201-2210.
- Garg AV, Ahmed M, Vallejo AN, Ma A, Gaffen SL. 2013. A20 (TNFAIP3) is a novel inhibitor of IL-17-mediated signal transduction. Science Sig 6(278):ra44.
- He M, Kratz LE, Michel JJ, Vallejo AN, Ferris L, Kelley RI, Hoover JJ, Jukic D, Gibson KM, Wolfe L, Ramachandran D, Zwick ME, Vockley J. 2011. Mutations in the SC4MOL gene encoding a novel methyl sterol oxidase cause psoriasiform dermatitis, microcephaly and developmental delay. J Clin Invest 121: 976-984.
- Lopez de Padilla C, Vallejo AN, Lacomis D, McNallan KT, Reed AM. 2009. Extra-nodal lymphoid microstructures in inflamed muscle and disease severity in new-onset juvenile dermatomyositis. Arthritis Rheum 60:1160-1172.
- Michel JJ, Turesson C, Lemster B, Atkins SR, Iclozan C, Bongartz T, Wasko MC, Matteson E, Vallejo AN. 2007. CD56-expressing T cells that have features of senescence are expanded in rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Rheum 56:43-57.
Physiology of Aging and Longevity
- Shaaban CE, Aizenstein HJ, Jorgensen DR, Mahbubani RLM, Meckes NA, Erickson KI, Glynn NW, Mettenburg J, Guralnik J, Newman AB, Ibrahim TS, Laurienti PJ, Vallejo AN, Rosano C. 2019. Physical Activity and Cerebral Small Vein Integrity in Older Adults. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2019 Feb 26. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000001952.
- Smagula SF, Karim HT, Rangarajan A, Santos FP, Wood SC, Santini T, Jakicic JM, Reynolds CF, Cameron JL, Vallejo AN, Butters MA, Rosano C, Ibrahim TS, Erickson KI, Aizenstein HJ. 2018. Association of hippocampal substructure resting-state functional connectivity with memory performance in older adults. Am J Geriatr Psychiat 26:690-699.
- Shaaban CE, Aizenstein HJ, Jorgensen DR, Meckes NA, Erickson KI, Glynn NW, Mettenburg J, Cohen R, Guralnik J, Newman AB, Ibrahim TS, Laurienti PJ, Vallejo AN, Rosano C; LIFE Study Group. 2017 In Vivo Imaging of Venous Side Cerebral Small Vessel Disease in Older Adults: An MRI Method at 7T. Am J Neuroradiol 38:1923-1928.
- Michel JJ, Griffin P, Vallejo AN. 2016. Functionally diverse NK-like T cells are indicators and predictors of successful aging. Front Immunol 7:530.
- Kling HM, Vallejo AN, Shipley TW, Morris A, Qin S, Reinhart TA, Norris KA. 2016. T Cell Senescence is Associated with Development of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in a Non-Human Primate Model of HIV Infection. Clin Res HIV/AIDS 3:1028.
- Metti AL, Aizenstein H, Yaffe K, Boudreau RM, Newman A, Launer L, Gianaros PJ, Lopez OL, Saxton J, Ives DG, Kritchevsky S, Vallejo AN, Rosano R. 2015. Trajectories of peripheral interleukin-6, structure of the hippocampus, and cognitive impairment over 14 years in older adults. Neurobiol Aging 36:3038-3044.
- Vallejo AN, Michel JJ, Bale LK, Lemster BH, Borghesi L, Conover CA. 2009. Resistance to age-dependent thymic atrophy in long-lived mice that have deficiency in pregnancy-associated plasma protein A. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA 106:11252-11257.
- Lemster BH, Michel JJ, Montag DT, Paat JJ, Studenski SA, Newman AB, Vallejo AN. 2008. Induction of CD56 expression and TCR-independent activation of T cells with aging. J Immunol 180:1979-1990.