Department of Biochemistry and
Committee on Immunology
Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley,
Phone: (773) 834-9816
The University of Chicago
929 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637
Related Research Interests:
Erin Adams, Ph.D.
The vertebrate immune system has evolved to recognize foreign pathogens
or disease in multitudinous ways. This function is mediated
predominately by receptors expressed on the immune cell surface that
survey their environment for the presence of non-self or altered self.
Certain innate immune cells act as the first line of defense,
immediately detecting infection or disease and initiating the
downstream cascade of an adaptive immune response. Our interests focus
on identifying the molecular recognition mechanisms of these receptors,
and furthermore characterizing the signals to which they are
responding. We are focusing on a particular cell type, gamma delta T
cells, which reside in tissue compartments that are initial sites of
infection such as the digestive and reproductive tracts, as well as the
epidermis. These cells proliferate during infection, however it is
unclear to what stimulus they are responding and what their function is
in mediating the response to infection. Our goal is to identify these
signals and characterize them both biochemically and structurally
through recombinant protein expression, biophysical analysis such as
surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and finally structurally to understand
the molecular contacts that allow the specific recognition of their
Adams, E. J. , G. Thomson, and P. Parham. 1999. Evidence for an HLA-C-like locus in the orangutan Pongo pygmaeus. Immunogenetics 49:865.
Adams E.J.*, Strop P, Shin S, Chien YH, Garcia KC*. 2008. An autonomous CDR3δ is sufficient for γδ T cell recognition of the nonclassical MHC-I T10 and T22. Nat Immunol. 2008 Jul;9(7):777-84
Cooper, S., A. L. Erickson, E. J. Adams, J. Kansopon, A. J. Weiner, D. Y. Chien, M. Houghton, P. Parham, and C. M. Walker. 1999. Analysis of a successful immune response against hepatitis C virus. Immunity 10:439.
Adams, E. J. , S. Cooper, G. Thomson, and P. Parham. 2000. Common chimpanzees have greater diversity than humans at two of the three highly polymorphic MHC class I genes. Immunogenetics 51:410.
Rajalingam, R., M. Hong, E. J. Adams, B. P. Shum, L. A. Guethlein, and P. Parham. 2001. Short KIR Haplotypes in Pygmy Chimpanzee (Bonobo) Resemble the Conserved Framework of Diverse Human KIR Haplotypes. J Exp Med 193:135.
Adams, E. J. and P. Parham. 2001. Genomic analysis of Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) Class I genes in the Common Chimpanzee. Immunogenetics 53:200-8.
Adams E.J., Cooper S, Parham P. 2001. A novel, nonclassical MHC class I molecule specific to the common chimpanzee. J Immunol. 167:3858.
Adams E.J., Parham P. 2001. Species-specific evolution of MHC class I genes in the higher primates. Immunol Rev. 183:41.
Geller R, E.J. Adams, Guethlein LA, Little AM, Madrigal JA, Parham P. 2002. Linkage of Patr-AL to Patr-A and- B in the major histocompatibility complex of the common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes). Immunogenetics. 54:212
Guethlein LA, Flodin LR, E.J. Adams, Parham P. 2002. NK Cell Receptors of the Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus): A Pivotal Species for Tracking the Coevolution of Killer Cell Ig-Like Receptors with MHC-C. J Immunol. 169:220.
Adams E.J. and K.C. Garcia. 2002. A T cell receptor goes public. Structure 10:1468.
Krogsgaard M, Prado N, E.J. Adams, He X-L, Chow D, Wilson D, Garcia KC, and Davis M. 2003, Evidence that Structural Rearrangements and/or Flexibility during TCR Binding Can Contribute to T Cell Activation. Mol. Cell, 12:1367.
Maynard J, Petersson K, Wilson DH, E.J. Adams, Blondelle SE, Boulanger MJ, Ward ES, Wilson DB and Garcia K.C. 2005. A Paradox of Structural Degeneracy versus Functional Specificity in T Cell Recognition of Class II MHC and Myelin Basic Protein Autoantigen. Immunity, 22:81.
Shin S, El-Diwany R, Schaffert S, E.J. Adams, Garcia KC, Pereira P and Chien YH. 2005. The CDR3 region is the principal determinant of γδ TCR specificity for an MHC class Ib molecule. Science, 308:252.
Adams, E.J., Chien YH and Garcia, K.C. 2005. Structure of a γδ T cell receptor complexed with the non-classical MHC T22 Science, 308:227.
Garcia K.C. and E.J. Adams. 2005. How the T cell receptor sees antigen—a structural view. Cell, 122:333.
Adams E.J., Juo ZS, Venook RT, Boulanger MJ, Arase H, Lanier LL, Garcia KC. 2007. Structural elucidation of the m157 mouse cytomegalovirus ligand for Ly49 natural killer cell receptors. PNAS, 104:10128.
Faculty and Research