The University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Cynthia Baldwin


My research focuses are on cellular immune responses to bacterial and protozoan pathogens of humans and livestock including Brucella, Leptospira, Mycobaceria and Theileria.

Current Research

My particular research emphasis is on the characterization and function of gamma delta T lymphocytes using the bovine model. My colleagues and I have demonstrated that expression of a novel pattern recognition receptor, known as the WC1 co-receptor family, by γδ T cells designates antigen reactivity, in conjunction with the T cell receptor, by binding pathogens directly and inducing signals that activate the lymphocytes. Gamma delta T cells stimulated in this manner have immunological memory and appear to be an important component in the response to leptospira vaccination that results in an inflammatory immune response. These discoveries may influence the way we think about γδ T cells as players in adaptive immunity and potentially vaccine development. In addition, my work on brucellosis, an important zoonotic bacterial pathogen of cattle and other livestock species, has shown that in the mouse model that responses by B lymphocytes actually impede protective inflammatory immune responses through their production of regulatory cytokines.

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Academic Background

  • PhD Cornell University, Immunology, 1983
  • Postdoctoral Training: International Laboratory for Research on Animal Diseases, Nairobi, Kenya
McGill, J.L., R.E. Sacco, C.L. Baldwin, J.C. Telfer, M.V. Palmer, and W.R. Waters. 2014. The role of gamma delta T cells in immunity to Mycobacterium bovis infection in cattle. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathoogy 159:133-143.
Chen, C., H. Hsu, E. Hudgens, J. Telfer, and C.L. Baldwin. 2014. Signal transduction by different forms of the γδ T cell-specific pattern recognition receptor WC1. Journal of Immunology 193:379-390. (Selected for a pod cast of the work by JI)
Hsu, H, C.L. Baldwin and J.C. Telfer. 2015. The endocytosis and signaling of the gamma delta T cell coreceptor WC1 are regulated by a dileucine motif. Journal of Immunology 194:2399-406.
Hsu, H, C. Chen, A. Nenninger, L. Holz, C.L. Baldwin and J.C. Telfer. 2015. WC1 is a hybrid gammadelta TCR coreceptor and Pattern Recognition Receptor for pathogenic bacteria. Journal of Immunology194:2280-2288.
Baldwin, C.L. and J.C. Telfer. 2015. The bovine model for elucidating the role of γδ T cells in controlling infectious diseases of importance to cattle and humans. Molecular Immunology 66:35-47.
Herzig, C.T.A.H., V.L. Mailloux and C.L. Baldwin. 2015. Spectratype analysis of the T cell receptor delta CDR3 region of bovine T cells responding to leptospira. Immunogenetics 67:95-109.
Telfer, J. and C.L. Baldwin. 2015. Bovine gamma delta T cells and the function of gamma delta T cell specific WC1 co-receptors. Cellular Immunology 296:76-86.
Contact Info

Department of Veterinary & Animal Sciences
ISB 427E
661 North Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01003-9292

(413) 545-3167