David Eckels, Ph.D.
Professor, Dept. of Pathology
Division Chief, Dept. of Pathology, Division of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics
- Director, H&I Lab, University Health Care
About David Eckels, Ph.D.
Dr. Eckels is interested in the HLA system because it controls the human immune response, whether to transplanted tissue or viruses. His research interests have therefore focused on transplantation, immunoregulation, and viral immunology, specifically in regard to influenza and Hepatitis C viruses.
Dr. Eckels’ career in transplantation began in graduate school when he was establishing an HLA laboratory at the University of California at Davis and his master’s degree project was to characterize so called B-cell antigens. His PhD thesis with Eric Gershwin, MD, dealt with the growth and regulation of human T-cell clones. Since those days, he has worked on the structure and function of the human MHC for almost twenty years. At Georgetown University, Dr. Eckels developed T-cell clones to dissect allo antigens encoded within the HLA-DR class II regions and with a colleague, Professor Jonathan R. Lamb, was among the first to describe class II gene function in humans using an influenza virus model. In 1984 Dr. Eckels moved to The Blood Center in Milwaukee to direct the immunobiology research program and the HLA typing laboratory. That laboratory was the first to convert to routine DNA typing for bone marrow transplantation and now it is one of only a few laboratories that offer complete HLA typing down to the DNA sequence level. Dr. Eckels was President of the American Society for Histocompatibility Testing and served on the Executive Board of the United Network for Organ Sharing.
Dr. Eckels’ current research interests have continued in the area of human T-cell function and immunoregulation with emphasis now on the immunobiology of Hepatitis C Virus, the leading cause of end-stage liver disease requiring transplantation in the USA. Three lines of NIH funded research activity are ongoing in his laboratory at this time.
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Honors and Awards
- Vice President of ASHI (American Society of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics 1989-90
- Editorial Board, Human Immunology
- Board of Directors, Executive Committee-United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) 1991-92
- 1975, B.A. in Biological Sciences, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA
- 1977, M.A. in Microbiology, University of California, Davis, CA
- 1979, Ph.D. in Immunology, University Of California, Davis, CA