Department of Immunology

Ian Nicholas Crispe, M.B.B.S., Ph.D.


Dr. Crispe trained in Medicine at St Mary’s Medical School in London, England (now Imperial College of Medicine), and worked as a clinician at St Mary’s and at the Postgraduate Medical School, Hammersmith before graduate work at University College London, resulting in a Ph.D.


Department of Pathology, Box 357470
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-7470
Phone: 206-616-6661


Adaptive Immune Responses
Innate Immunity


Graduate Students
Katherine Brempelis,

Postdoctoral Fellow
Isaac Mohar,

Laboratory Staff
Sebastian Yuen,


Crispe Lab at Pathology


Nick Crispe on PubMed


The central research mission of the lab is to understand the distinctive features of immune responses that are generated in the liver, and reveal aspects of T cell function that are prominent in this environment. We are driven by the central idea that liver antigens can prime T cells locally, and that such priming has distinctive requirements in terms of the cell types competent to act as APC, the need for CD4+ T cell help in CD8+ T cell responses, the involvement of the innate immune system, and the long-term fate of such liver-primed T cells. This research agenda has led us to build expertise in Kupffer cell biology, and we view these cells as central in determining whether immune responses are biased towards immunity or tolerance.

Multiple important pathogens target the liver, including viral hepatitis A, B, C and malaria. Therefore, we are interested in the immune responses to such pathogens, and seek to model some aspects of their immunopathology in vitro. We have developed an Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV)-based model for gene delivery to hepatocytes, and find that the CD8+ T cell response to this vector may be used to study T cell-dependent hepatitis, liver injury and fibrogenesis. Thus, we are dissecting the role of T cell- and Kupffer cell-derived cytokines in the development of liver immunopathology. Since AAV is a strong candidate vector for gene therapy, our investigations are relevant to efforts to improve this type of therapy, and in particular to negate the immune response to AAV vectors.


  1. Ebrahimkhani MR, Mohar I, Crispe IN, Cross-presentation of antigen by diverse subsets of liver cells. Hepatology. 2011 Jun 30. doi: 10.1002/hep.24508.
  2. Azadniv M, Bowers WJ, Topham DJ, Crispe IN. CD4+ T Cell Effects on CD8+ T Cell Location Defined Using Bioluminescence. PLoS One. 2011 Jan 20;6(1):e16222.
  3. Crispe IN., Liver antigen-presenting cells. J Hepatol. 2011 Feb;54(2):357-65. Epub 2010 Oct 16. Review.
  4. Bigorgne AE, Crispe IN. TLRs in Hepatic Cellular Crosstalk.  Gastroenterol Res Pract. 2010;2010. pii: 618260. Epub 2010 Aug 30.
  5. Wuensch SA, Spahn J, Crispe IN.  Direct, help-independent priming of CD8+ T cells by adeno-associated virus-transduced hepatocytes.  Hepatology. 2010 Sep;52(3):1068-77.
  6. Tu Z, Pierce RH, Kurtis J, Kuroki Y, Crispe IN, Orloff MS. Hepatitis C virus core protein subverts the antiviral activities of human Kupffer cells. Gastroenterology. 2010 Jan;138(1):305-14. Epub 2009 Sep 19.