Erika L. Pearce, PhD

Associate Professor of Pathology and Immunology
BJCIH, Room 8215, Suite B/8210
314-286-2509
314-286-2549 (lab)
E-mail:  erikapearce@wustl.edu
Website 

Research

As part of their normal development during an immune response, T cells undergo extensive metabolic changes to support their energetic and biosynthetic needs. Research in my laboratory focuses on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms that control T cell fate and function during infection and cancer, with a particular emphasis on how metabolism governs these processes. Currently we have projects investigating T cell metabolism in the tumor microenvironment, the role of mitochondrial dynamics in shaping T cell function, and how T cells utilize substrates during infection. Ultimately we hope our research will reveal ways to manipulate the metabolism of immune cells for enhancing the efficacy of immunotherapeutic and prophylactic vaccines.

Selected Publications

  1. Huang, S., Everts, B., Ivanova, Y., O'Sullivan, D., Nascimento, M., Smith, A. M., Beatty, W., Love-Gregory, L., Lam, W. Y., O'Neill, C. M., Yan, C., Du, H., Abumrad, N. A., Urban, J. F., Artyomov, M. N., Pearce, E. L., Pearce, E. J. Cell-intrinsic lysosomal lipolysis is essential for macrophage alternative activation. Nat Immunol. In press.
  2. Chou C, Pinto AK, Curtis JD, Persaud SP, Cella M, Lin CC, Edelson BT, Allen PM, Colonna M, Pearce EL, Diamond MS, and Egawa T. c-Myc-induced transcription factor AP4 is required for CD8+ T cell-mediated host protection. Nat Immunol. Nat Immunol. 2014 Jul 13. doi: 10.1038/ni.2943. [Epub ahead of print]
  3. O’Sullivan D, van der Windt GJW, Huang SC, Curtis JD, Chang CC, Buck MD, Qiu J, Smith AM, Lam WY, DiPlato LM, Hsu FF, Birnbaum MJ, Pearce EJ, and Pearce EL. Memory CD8+ T cells use cell intrinsic lipolysis to support the metabolic programming necessary for development. Immunity. 2014 Jul 4. 41(1). [Epub ahead of print]. NIHMS 608518.
  4. Everts B, Amiel E, Huang SC, Smith AM, Chang CH, Lam WY, Redmann V, Freitas TC, Blagih J, van der Windt GJW, Artyomov MN, Jones RG, Pearce EL, and Pearce EJ. TLR-driven early glycolytic reprogramming via the kinases TBK1-IKKε supports the anabolic demands of dendritic cell activation. Nat Immunol. 2014 Feb 23. [Epub ahead of print].
  5. Pearce EL, Poffenberger M, Chang CH, Jones RG. Fueling Immunity: Insights into metabolism and lymphocyte function. 2013. Science. 2013 Oct 11;342(6155):1242454. [PMCID: PMC Journal – In Process]
  6. van der Windt GJW, O’Sullivan D, Everts B, Huang SC, Buck MD, Curtis JD, Chang CH, Smith AM, Ai T, Faubert B, Jones RG, Pearce EJ, and Pearce EL. Memory T Cells Have A Bioenergetic Advantage That Underlies Their ‘Rapid Recall’ Ability.  PNAS. 2013 Aug 12. PMCID: PMC3761631.PMCID: PMC3804311
  7. Chang CH, Curtis JD, Maggi Jr. LB, Faubert B, Villarino AV, O’Sullivan D, Huang SC, van der Windt GJW, Blagih J, Qiu J, Weber JD, Pearce EJ, Jones RG, Pearce EL. 2013. Post-Transcriptional Control Of T Cell Effector Function By Aerobic Glycolysis. Cell. 2013 Jun 6;153(6):1239-51. PMCID: PMC3804311
  8. Pearce EL and Pearce EJ. 2013. Metabolic Pathways In Immune Cell Activation And Quiescence. Immunity. 2013 Apr 18;38(4):633-43. PMCID: PMC3654249.
  9. van der Windt, G.J., Pearce EL. Metabolic Switching and Fuel Choice During T Cell Differentiation and Memory Development. Immunol Rev. 2012 Sep;249(1):27-42. PMCID: PMC3645891.
  10. Everts, B, Amiel, A, van der Windt, GJW, Freitas, TC, Chott, R, Yarasheski, K, Pearce, EL, and Pearce, EJ. Commitment to Glycolysis Sustains Survival of Nitric Oxide-Producing Inflammatory Dendritic cells. Blood. 2012 Jul 11. PMCID: PMC3423780.
  11. van der Windt GJW, Everts B, Chang CH, Curtis JD, Freitas TC, Amiel E, Pearce EJ, Pearce EL. Mitochondrial Respiratory Capacity Is A Critical Regulator of CD8(+) T Cell Memory Development. Immunity. 2012 Jan 27;36(1):68-78.PMCID:PMC3269311.
  12. Pearce EL. Metabolism in T cell activation and differentiation. Curr Opin Immunol. 2010 Jun;22(3):314-20. Epub 2010 Feb 26.
  13. Pearce EL, Walsh MC, Cejas PJ, Harms GM, Shen H, Wang LS, Jones RG, Choi Y. Enhancing CD8 T-cell memory by modulating fatty acid metabolism. Nature. 2009 Jul 2;460(7251):103-7. Epub 2009 Jun 3. PMCID: PMC2803086
  14. Pearce EL, Shen H. Generation of CD8 T cell memory is regulated by IL-12. J Immunol. 2006 Aug 15;179(4):2074-81. PMID: 17675465.
  15. Pearce EL, Mullen AC, Martins GA, Krawczyk CM, Hutchins AS, Zediak VP, Banica M, DiCioccio CB, Gross DA, Mao CA, Shen H, Cereb N, Yang SY, Lindsten T, Rossant J, Hunter CA, Reiner SL. Control of effector CD8+ T cell function by the transcription factor Eomesodermin. Science. 2003 Nov 7;302(5647):1041-3. PMID: 14605368.

DBBS Graduate Program Affiliation

Department of Pathology and Immunology
Campus Box 8118
660 South Euclid Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63110
 
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