Shane Crotty is a Professor with tenure of the La Jolla Institute for Immunology. Dr. Crotty’s research focus is on the underlying immunology of vaccines, particularly the development of potent antibody responses and memory, with a predominant focus on the important role of CD4 T cells in these processes. By better understanding these processes, Dr. Crotty hopes new and better vaccines can one day be developed, particularly against deadly diseases like HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis, where no good vaccines currently exist.
Dr. Crotty received his B.S. in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1996. He also received a B.S. in Writing from MIT the same year. Dr. Crotty undertook graduate work in virology at the University of California, San Francisco in the Program in Biological Sciences. There he discovered the mechanism of action of the antiviral drug ribavirin, widely used to treat chronic hepatitis C infections. Dr. Crotty earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2001. He then pursued postdoctoral work at the Emory University Vaccine Center with Dr. Rafi Ahmed from 2001 to 2003, studying aspects of the generation and maintenance of immune memory after viral infections. In 2003, he accepted a faculty position at LJI.
The Crotty lab has helped established that follicular helper T cells (Tfh) are a distinct type of differentiated CD4 T cell uniquely specialized in B cell help, and that Tfh differentiation is controlled by the transcription factor Bcl6 (Science 2009). He has made major advances in the area of T cell help to B cells, and through this work has become an internationally recognized leader in the field of Tfh cell biology (Annual Review of Immunology 2011). Dr. Crotty was named a Pew Scholar in Biomedical Sciences in 2005, and was the recipient of the annualAmerican Association of Immunologists (AAI) Investigator Award for outstanding early-career research contributions to the field of Immunology in 2012.
Dr. Crotty is also the author of Ahead of the Curve, a biography of Nobel laureate scientist David Baltimore, published in 2001, and reviewed in The Wall Street Journal, Nature, The Washington Post, The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Nature Medicine, and Discover Magazine.