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William R Green, PhD

Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Elmer R. Pfefferkorn Professor in Microbiology & Immunology

Additional Titles/Positions/Affiliations:
The Elmer R. Pfefferkorn Professor and Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology

Microbiology and Immunology

Case Western Reserve University, Ph.D. 1977
University of Michigan, BS 1972

Immunology Program
Molecular and Cellular Biology Graduate Programs
Norris Cotton Cancer Center
Program in Experimental and Molecular Medicine


Contact Information:

Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
Borwell Research Bldg., HB 7556
1 Medical Center Drive
Lebanon NH 03756

Email: William.R.Green@Dartmouth.EDU

Professional Interests:

T Cell Immune Responses to Retroviral Diseases

The primary interests of the lab focus on cell-mediated immunity to mouse retroviruses that cause either leukemia or immunodeficiency. We have been studying resistance to endogenous AKR/Gross virus-induced leukemia mediated by cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses. By use of "low leukemia" mouse strains, CTL that readily lyse AKR/Gross retrovirus-induced tumors have been generated. The CTL recognize "type-specific" viral determinants with the major immunodominant viral peptide located in the transmembrane anchor protein encoded by the envelope gene. Other mouse strains of higher leukemia incidence are unable to generate such CTL responses. The mechanism of unresponsiveness include both MHC-dependent mechanisms and apoptosis of effector CTL following interaction with FasL-expressing virus infected cells.

Another area of emphasis is the study of both immunity to the mouse acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (MAIDS) retroviral isolate and the mechanism of retroviral pathogenesis. In this model of HIV induced AIDS, we have raised unique protective CTL to the causative virus. Interestingly, the immunodominant determinant recognized by the CTL is encoded by a previously unrecognized alternative viral translational reading frame. Moreover, this alternative reading frame is extended, and mutagenesis experiments have shown that it exists because its protein product is necessary for viral pathogenesis. . We are also interested in the retroviral induction of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) in this system: especially their unique inhibition of B-cell immune responsiveness (as well as of T-cell responses), and the first report in any system of involvement of the new checkpoint regulator VISTA in MDSC suppression of B-cell activity.

Rotations and Thesis Projects:

1. Reciprocal modulation of CD4T reg cells and MDSCs
2. Involvement of VISTA in MDSC inhibition of B-cell responses
3. MDSC suppressive effector mechanisms in addition to iNOS/NO

Grant Information:

P20RR16437/P30GM103415 (Phase III) Green, W.R. (PI) 09/01/2001-06/30/2016
$1,215,000/yr. total costs

Center of Biomedical Research Excellence in Molecular, Cellular, and Translational Immunology

The goals of this COBRE application are to increase the numbers of investigators in New Hampshire who are competitive in securing NIH extramural funding and to establish a Molecular, Cellular, and Translational Immunological Research Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE). Role: PI

1UL1TR001086-01 (Green, Alan I.) 09/26/2013 – 4/30/2018
1KL2TR001088-01 IAC chairman, other
NIH/NCATS $4,000,000/yr. total institutional interface
Dartmouth SYNERGY: The Dartmouth Clinical and Translational Science Institute
The overarching goal of this project is to create an integrated home for clinical and translational science at Dartmouth and accelerate the translation of scientific knowledge into practice and improved population health.

Courses Taught:

BIOL 42 Biology of the Immune Response -- Course Co-Director


After graduation from Case Western Reserve, Dr. Green first continued his efforts with an NIH supported fellowship and then working as a research associate in Immunology first at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and then at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC) and the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle becoming an Assistant Member/Professor at FHCRC and the UW in 1980. Dr. Green joined the faculty of the Department of Microbiology at Dartmouth Medical School in 1983. From 1992-2002 Dr. Green served as Director of the Immunology Program, including the Immunology and Cancer Immunotherapy Program of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, before becoming Chair of the Microbiology and Immunology (M/I) Department in July, 2002; and leading as PI the NIH-NIGMS funded Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) in Molecular, Cellular, and Translational Immunological Research, now in its fourteenth year of funding. From January, 2008 through September 2010, he served one term as Dean of Dartmouth Medical School before returning to chairmanship of the M/I Department, and Director of the Dartmouth Community Medical School.

Mentoring Information:

Approximately equal number of Ph.D. graduate students and post-doctoral fellows trained over 25+ years.

Long term PI of an NIH/NIAID Institutional (T32) Training Grant funding graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in immunology.

PI of the Immunology COBRE Award from the NIH for 14 years and ongoing – including junior faculty development.

Selected Publications:


  • O'Connor MA, Green WR Use of IRF-3 and/or IRF-7 knockout mice to study viral pathogenesis: lessons from a murine retrovirus-induced AIDS model. J Virol 2014 Feb; 88:2349-53 (view details on MedLine)

  • O'Connor MA, Green WR The role of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase in LP-BPM5 murine retroviral disease progression. Virol J 2013 May; 10:154 (view details on MedLine)

  • Green KA, Cook WJ, Green WR Myeloid-derived suppressor cells in murine retrovirus-induced AIDS inhibit T- and B-cell responses in vitro that are used to define the immunodeficiency. J Virol 2013 Feb; 87:2058-71 (view details on MedLine)

  • Li W, Green WR Immunotherapy of murine retrovirus-induced acquired immunodeficiency by CD4 T regulatory cell depletion and PD-1 blockade. J Virol 2011 Dec; 85:13342-53 (view details on MedLine)

  • Li W, Carlson TL, Green WR Stimulation-dependent induction of CD154 on a subset of CD4+ FoxP3+ T-regulatory cells. Int Immunopharmacol 2011 Sep; 11:1205-10 (view details on MedLine)

  • Rutkowski MR, Stevens CA, Green WR Impaired memory CD8 T cell responses against an immunodominant retroviral cryptic epitope. Virology 2011 Apr 10; 412:256-68 (view details on MedLine)

  • Carlson TL, Green KA, Green WR Alternative translational reading frames as a novel source of epitopes for an expanded CD8 T-cell repertoire: use of a retroviral system to assess the translational requirements for CTL recognition and lysis. Viral Immunol 2010 Dec; 23:577-83 (view details on MedLine)

  • Rutkowski MR, Ho O, Green WR Defining the mechanism(s) of protection by cytolytic CD8 T cells against a cryptic epitope derived from a retroviral alternative reading frame. J Virol 2008 Mar; 82:2456-69 (view details on MedLine)

  • Ho O, Green WR Alternative translational products and cryptic T cell epitopes: expecting the unexpected. J Immunol 2006 Dec 15; 177:8283-9 (view details on MedLine)