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Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies

Ellen B. Kraig, Ph.D.


Ellen B. Kraig, Ph.D.

Department of Cell Systems and Anatomy
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Phone: 210-567-3818


Dr. Kraig’s lab was the first to show that antibody responses decline with age, while memory immunity to the same antigen is maintained. They continue to study immune aging in three systems.  First, since baboons maintain some immune competence, we are comparing immune-aging acoss non-human primate species.  Second, using a transgenic model of myasthenia gravis, we have studied the effects of aging on immunity, autoimmunity, and tolerance. Lastly, since the immunosuppressive drug, rapamycin, increased longevity even in relatively old mice, we are investigating rapamycin’s effects on immune parameters in both adult and old mice using both molecular and immunological approaches. Our long-term goal is to optimize vaccines for use in older individuals.

Selected Publications

Stacy S, Pasquali A, Sexton VL, Cantwell AM, Kraig E, Dube PH. An age-old paradigm challenged: old baboons generate vigorous humoral immune responses to LcrV, a plague antigen. J Immunol. 2008 Jul 1;181(1):109-15.

Williams, E, S Stacy, AJ Infante, and E Kraig  (2009)  Chapter 13 Mechanisms of tolerance in experimental models of myasthenia gravis  Myasthenia gravis; ed P Christadoss; pp 235-257

Stacy S, Williams EL, Standifer NE, Pasquali A, Krolick KA, Infante AJ, Kraig E. Maintenance of immune tolerance to a neo-self acetylcholine receptor antigen with aging: implications for late-onset autoimmunity. J Immunol. 2010 Jun 1;184(11):6067-75.

Majumder S, Caccamo A, Medina DX, Benavides AD, Javors MA, Kraig E, Strong R, Richardson A, Oddo S. Lifelong rapamycin administration ameliorates age-dependent cognitive deficits by reducing IL-1β and enhancing NMDA signaling. Aging Cell. 2012 Apr;11(2):326-35.

Rubicz R, Yolken R, Drigalenko E, Carless MA, Dyer TD, Bauman L, Melton PE, Kent JW Jr, Harley JB, Curran JE, Johnson MP, Cole SA, Almasy L, Moses EK, Dhurandhar NV, Kraig E, Blangero J, Leach CT, Göring HH. A genome-wide integrative genomic study localizes genetic factors influencing antibodies against Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA-1). PLoS Genet. 2013;9(1):e1003147.

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The Sam and Ann Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies

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San Antonio, Texas  78245
P: 210-562-6140 F: 210-562-6110

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