John Hansen, Ph.D.

Dr. Hansen is a Research Immunologist at the Western Fisheries Research Center. His laboratory utilizes a basic research, comparative approach to understand host-pathogen interactions in fish and the impact of environmental chemicals on immunity.

Biography

Education:

Postdoc. 1995-2001. Basel Institute for Immunology, Basel, Switzerland

Ph.D. 1991-1995. Genetics/Immunology, Department of Microbiology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

B.S. 1984-1988. Zoology and Chemistry, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Eau Claire, WI

 

Research Interests:

Our group at the Western Fisheries Research Center focuses on mediators of inflammation in fish, the development of immune-related tools (mAbs)  for salmonids and the impact of endocrine disrupting compounds (e.g. estrogenic compounds) on immune response potential. We are particularly interested how early life exposures to EDC disrupt disease susceptibility. To better appreciate these interactions, we have developed specific research projects that utilize zebrafish. Zebrafish present an attractive model for studies involving fish and vertebrate health owing to the availability of genomic and genetic resources for this model organism. Current zebrafish-related projects include assessing virulence factors of Francisella noatunensis (fish specific pathogen) and the impact of endocrine disruptors on fish health. These research efforts have translational value for both human and fish health. Ultimately, our goal is to better understand how pathogens and host immune responses contribute to pathogenesis and/or immunity and how this information can be applied to vertebrate health.

 

Experience:

8/2004 to Present – Research Immunologist/Project Leader: USGS Western Fisheries Research Center, Seattle, WA

2004 to Present - Affiliate Associate Professor: Global Health and Pathobiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

2002-2006 - Adjunct Assistant Professor: Molecular Medicine, University of Maryland Baltimore, Baltimore, MD

1995-2001 - Member: Basel Institute for Immunology, Basel, Switzerland

1991-1995 - Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Microbiology (with Dr. Steve Kaattari), Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

1988-1991 - Senior Laboratory Technician, Immunobiology Section-VA Hospital, Minneapolis, MN

 

Research Immunologist/Project Leader: USGS Western Fisheries Research Center, Seattle, WA (8/2004 to Present)

Current Projects:

  1. Zebrafish as a model for understanding host-pathogen interactions in fish: use of functional genomics.
  2. Pro-inflammatory responses to come.
  3. US Veterinary Immune Reagent Network (www.umass.edu/vetimm/).
  4. Development of zebrafish as an alternative model for assessing the impact of environmental chemicals on vertebrate health.

Current Laboratory Members:

  • James C. Woodson, Sr. Biological Research Technician
  • Emma Deas, Undergraduate Researcher University of Washington (UW)
  • Victoria McPherson, Undergraduate Researcher UW

Former Scholars (Current Position):

Postdoctoral Fellows:

  • Siba Das, Regulation of mRNA/miRNAs during EDC exposure (Pacific Northwest Diabetes Research Institute)
  • Kerry Laing, T-cell co-receptors in teleost fish (UW Department of Medicine)
  • Damian Kraus, Immune response to VHSV in herring ( )

Ph.D. Students:

  • Lucia Vojtech, Thesis "Evolutionary conservation of the Innate Immune Responses to Francisella Infection in the Zebrafish" (Acting Assistant Professor, UW Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology)
  • Eric Landis, Thesis "Characterization and transcriptional analysis of rainbow trout MHC class 1 pathway genes in response to viral infection" (Biologist, Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

UW Undergraduate Researchers:

  • Rachel Bessire, "Induction of proinflammatory genes during acute infection with wild type and pdpA knockouts of Francisella noatunensis" (University of Michigan graduate School of Public Health)
  • Patrick Chen, "Induction of proinflammatory genes during acute infection with wild type and pdpA knockouts of Francisella noatunensis" (Balor School of Medicine, graduate school of Molecular Microbiology)
  • Julia Lister, "Impact of flame retardants and estradiol on the immune system of developing embryos" (Washington State University, Veterinary School)
  • Karina Ray, “Attenuation of the fish pathogen Francisella noatunensis by mutation of the pathogenicity island gene pdpA” (New York University (NYU) Langone Medical Center, Genome Technology Center)
  • Lauren Summers, Impact of cadmium on the respiratory burst zebrafish ( Swedish Cancer Institute, Seattle-Research Coordinator)
  • Nicole Sharping, “Functional analysis of the zebrafish inflammasome” ( University of Pittsburgh, Graduate Student--School of Medicine, Biomed program)
  • Hoshi Suigera, “Type 1 interferon responses in trout during viral infection” (Veterinary research)
  • Samantha Badil, “Role of RAG2 knockouts during Francisella infection in zebrafish” (UW Department of Immunology, Research Scientist)
  • Annalee Herrera, “Development of monoclonal antibodies for trout leukocytes” (Ada Developers Academy, Software Development)
  • Aaron Black, “Regulation of an immunoproteasome gene in herring during acute VHS infection” (University of Pennsylvania, graduate student Perelman School of Medicine)

 

Affiliate Associate Professor: Global Health and Pathobiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA (2004-present)

 

Assistant Professor: Center of Marine Biotechnology, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD (2001-2004)

Directed research projects looking at the functional genomics of antigen presentation, evolution the immune system and development of cellular immunity in teleosts.

 

Adjunct Assistant Professor: Molecular Medicine, University of Maryland Baltimore, Baltimore, MD (2002-2006)

 

Member: Basel Institute for Immunology, Basel, Switzerland (1995-2001) (with Dr. Louis Du Pasquier)

Examined the organization, expression and functionality of the major histocompatibility locus (MHC) in teleosts and the generation of molecular and cellular reagents for examining the development and function of trout leukocytes.

 

Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Microbiologist, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR (1991-1995) (with Dr. Steve Kaattari)

Characterization of B-cell lymphopoiesis in rainbow trout.

 

Senior Laboratory Technician, Immunobiology Section-VA Hospital, Minneapolis, MN (1988-1991)

Investigating the role(s) that pro-inflammatory cytokines play in the pathogenesis of alcoholic liver disease.