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Randolph J. Noelle, PhD

Professor of Microbiology and Immunology

Microbiology and Immunology

Albany Medical College, PHD 1980
SUNY - Stony Brook,
BS 1974

Dr. Noelle was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Dallas from 1980-1984
and in 1984, he joined the faculty of Dartmouth Medical School as an Assistant Professor. In 1995, he was promoted to Professor of Microbiology and Immunology.

Project Cork


Contact Information:

Borwell Research Building
1 Medical Center Drive
HB 7556
Lebanon NH 03755

Phone: 603-653-9908
Fax: 603-653-9900
Email: Randolph.J.Noelle@Dartmouth.Edu

Professional Interests:

In 1991, Professor Noelle's laboratory identified a novel membrane protein expressed on helper T lymphocytes (Th), CD154. The receptor for CD154 is CD40. CD40 is expressed on B lymphocytes and antigen-presenting cells. This ligand-receptor pair plays a central role in the control of antibody- and cell-mediated immunity. Intervention in CD154-CD40 interactions (by genetic deletion or antibody-blockade) can block a wide spectrum of immune and autoimmune responses as well as transplantation rejection. As a result, the laboratory has focused on four areas of immunobiology that are relevant to CD40 function.

Regulatory T cell biology:

Peripheral tolerance in cancer and in graft tolerance is sustained by regulatory T cells. Our laboratory studies the network of cells (mast cells, DCs) and factors (PD-L1, Retinoic acid) that control their activities.

B cell memory and plasma cell development:

Our goals are to understand the factors that control the remarkable longevity of plasma cells and memory B cells in mice. Studies using global gene analysis have and will lead to novel genetic targets that allow us to understand the mechanisms that allow the persistence of these cells in humans for decades.

Immune tolerance in transplantation:

Perhaps the most impressive activity of ±CD154 is its ability to block the rejection of fully allogeneic skin, heart, kidney and islet allografts in mice, and in some of these cases in monkeys. Exciting new insights into how ±CD154 induces peripheral T cell tolerance and long-lived graft acceptance have emerged from these studies. The impact of ±CD154 on T cell anergy, regulatory T cell function, and dendritic cell biology are all elements in engendering permanent allograft survival.

Recently we have shown that retinoic acid can exert profound effects on Tregs and are now deeply involved in how this dietary supplement controls T cell fate.

Cancer vaccines:

CD40 is such a powerful activator of the immune system, we have exploited it as a target in producing a new generation of molecularly defined immune adjuvants. Using CD40 agonists and other pro-inflammatory mediators we are engineering adjuvant platforms that can induce profound levels of cell-mediated immunity. Our interest lie in both the practical development of these novel platforms and the basic science behind how they work.

Translational Immunotherapy:

Our laboratory has been involved with numerous translational efforts in the areas of antibody-based immunotherapy and cellular vaccines for cancer. We have produced monoclonal antibodies that have entered clinical trials at Dartmouth and around the world, and we have played an active role in the development of clinical trials for cellular vaccines for cancer. We continue to aggressively translate basic scientific discoveries into the clinic and measure the impact of these interventions using highly sophisticated measurements of human immunity.

Selected Publications:


Hypoxia-Induced VISTA Promotes the Suppressive Function of Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells in the Tumor Microenvironment.
Deng J, Li J, Sarde A, Lines JL, Lee YC, Qian DC, Pechenick DA, Manivanh R, Le Mercier I, Lowrey CH, Varn FS, Cheng C, Leib DA, Noelle RJ, Mabaera R
Cancer Immunol Res. 2019 Jul;7(7):1079-1090. doi: 10.1158/2326-6066.CIR-18-0507. Epub 2019 May 14.
PMID: 31088847

Dendritic Cell Expression of Retinal Aldehyde Dehydrogenase-2 Controls Graft-versus-Host Disease Lethality.
Thangavelu G, Lee YC, Loschi M, Schaechter KM, Feser CJ, Koehn BH, Nowak EC, Zeiser R, Serody JS, Murphy WJ, Munn DH, Chambon P, Noelle RJ, Blazar BR
J Immunol. 2019 May 1;202(9):2795-2805. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1800899. Epub 2019 Mar 18.
PMID: 30885956

VISTA expression by microglia decreases during inflammation and is differentially regulated in CNS diseases.
Borggrewe M, Grit C, Den Dunnen WFA, Burm SM, Bajramovic JJ, Noelle RJ, Eggen BJL, Laman JD
Glia. 2018 Dec;66(12):2645-2658. doi: 10.1002/glia.23517. Epub 2018 Oct 11.
PMID: 30306644

VISTA expression on tumor-infiltrating inflammatory cells in primary cutaneous melanoma correlates with poor disease-specific survival.
Kuklinski LF, Yan S, Li Z, Fisher JL, Cheng C, Noelle RJ, Angeles CV, Turk MJ, Ernstoff MS
Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2018 Jul;67(7):1113-1121. doi: 10.1007/s00262-018-2169-1. Epub 2018 May 8.
PMID: 29737375

VISTA deficiency attenuates antibody-induced arthritis and alters macrophage gene expression in response to simulated immune complexes.
Ceeraz S, Eszterhas SK, Sergent PA, Armstrong DA, Ashare A, Broughton T, Wang L, Pechenick D, Burns CM, Noelle RJ, Vincenti MP, Fava RA
Arthritis Res Ther. 2017 Dec 8;19(1):270. doi: 10.1186/s13075-017-1474-y. Epub 2017 Dec 8.
PMID: 29216931

Bolstering the Number and Function of HSV-1-Specific CD8+ Effector Memory T Cells and Tissue-Resident Memory T Cells in Latently Infected Trigeminal Ganglia Reduces Recurrent Ocular Herpes Infection and Disease.
Khan AA, Srivastava R, Chentoufi AA, Kritzer E, Chilukuri S, Garg S, Yu DC, Vahed H, Huang L, Syed SA, Furness JN, Tran TT, Anthony NB, McLaren CE, Sidney J, Sette A, Noelle RJ, BenMohamed L
J Immunol. 2017 Jul 1;199(1):186-203. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1700145. Epub 2017 May 24.
PMID: 28539429

Immunoregulatory functions of VISTA.
Nowak EC, Lines JL, Varn FS, Deng J, Sarde A, Mabaera R, Kuta A, Le Mercier I, Cheng C, Noelle RJ
Immunol Rev. 2017 Mar;276(1):66-79. doi: 10.1111/imr.12525.
PMID: 28258694

Retinoic Acid Signaling in B Cells Is Required for the Generation of an Effective T-Independent Immune Response.
Marks E, Ortiz C, Pantazi E, Bailey CS, Lord GM, Waldschmidt TJ, Noelle RJ, Elgueta R
Front Immunol. 2016;7:643. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2016.00643. Epub 2016 Dec 23.
PMID: 28066447

Functions of CD40 and Its Ligand, gp39 (CD40L).
Laman JD, Claassen E, Noelle RJ
Crit Rev Immunol. 2017;37(2-6):371-420. doi: 10.1615/CritRevImmunol.v37.i2-6.100.
PMID: 29773027

A New VISTA on combination therapy for negative checkpoint regulator blockade.
Deng J, Le Mercier I, Kuta A, Noelle RJ
J Immunother Cancer. 2016;4:86. doi: 10.1186/s40425-016-0190-5. Epub 2016 Dec 20.
PMID: 28031817

View more publications on PubMed