Department of Immunology

Oliver Harrison, Ph.D.


Dr. Harrison earned a Masters of Pharmacology degree from the University of Bath, U.K. in 2009 and a D.Phil. in Immunology from the University of Oxford in 2014. He completed postdoctoral training with Dr. Yasmine Belkaid at the National Institutes of Health and joined the faculty of Benaroya Research Institute as an Assistant Member in 2019. He became a faculty member of the UW Molecular and Cellular Biology Graduate Program, and joined the UW Department of Immunology as an Affiliate Assistant Professor in 2020.


Benaroya Research Institute
Center for Fundamental Immunology
1201 9th Ave
Seattle, WA 98101
Ph: 206-342-6538


Mucosal Immunology
Adaptive Immunity
Commensal-specific immunity


Harrison Lab Members


Harrison Lab and BRI Lab Page


Oliver Harrison on PubMed


The Harrison Lab studies the mechanisms controlling host-microbe interactions at barrier tissues, primarily the skin and the gut. We perform our research in a multidisciplinary and collaborative manner, combining in vivo cellular and molecular immunology, using genetic mouse models, microbiology, transcriptomic and epigenetic analyses, to understand how commensal-specific immunity contributes to tissue homeostasis and repair. A major research interest in the lab is studying the role of commensal-specific T and B cells in the skin and gastrointestinal tract. To do so, we have generated new reagents, commensal-specific T and B cell tetramers, and T cell receptor transgenic mice, to enable us to identify, profile and manipulate commensal-specific immune responses following commensal colonization, and during experimental infection and injury. The goal is to understand how these immune cells promote barrier tissue integrity and repair, and to understand how this goes awry during disease.


  1. Harrison OJ, Linehan JL, Shih HY, Bouladoux N, Han SJ, Smelkinson M, Sen SK, Byrd AL, Enamorado M, Yao C, Tamoutounour S, Van Laethem F, Hurabielle C, Collins N, Paun A, Salcedo R, O’Shea JJ, Belkaid Y. Commensal-specific T cell plasticity promotes rapid tissue adaptation to injury. Science. 2019 Jan 4;363(6422):eaat6280. doi: 10.1126/science.aat6280. PMID: 30523076. PMCID: PMC7304459.
  2. Linehan JL, Harrison OJ, Han SJ, Byrd AL, Vujkovic-Cvijin I, Villarino AV, Sen SK, Shaik J, Smelkinson M, Tamoutounour S, Collins N, Bouladoux N, Dzutsev A, Rosshart SP, Arbuckle JH, Wang CR, Kristie TM, Rehermann B, Trinchieri G, Brenchley JM, O’Shea JJ, Belkaid Y. Non-classical Immunity Controls Microbiota Impact on Skin Immunity and Tissue Repair. Cell. 2018 Feb 8;172(4):784-796.e18. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2017.12.033. PMID: 29358051. PMCID: PMC6034182.<
  3. Belkaid Y, Harrison OJ. Homeostatic Immunity and the Microbiota. Immunity. 2017 Apr 18;46(4):562-576. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2017.04.008. PMID: 28423337. PMCID: PMC5604871.
  4. Wilhelm C*, Harrison OJ*, Schmitt V, Pelletier M, Spencer SP, Urban JF Jr, Ploch M, Ramalingam TR, Siegel RM, Belkaid Y. Critical role of fatty acid metabolism in ILC2-mediated barrier protection during malnutrition and helminth infection. J Exp Med. 2016 Jul 25;213(8):1409-18. doi: 10.1084/jem.20151448. PMID: 27432938. PMCID: PMC4986525.
  5. Harrison OJ, Srinivasan N, Pott J, Schiering C, Krausgruber T, Ilott NE, Maloy KJ. Epithelial-derived IL-18 regulates Th17 cell differentiation and Foxp3⁺ Treg cell function in the intestine.