Christian P. Larsen, MD, DPhil - Basic Science Research Faculty

Christian P. Larsen, MD, D Phil

Dean, Emory University School of Medicine
Vice President for Health Center Integration, Woodruff Health Sciences Center
Chair, Board of Directors, The Emory Clinic
Professor of Surgery, Division of Transplantation, Department of Surgery

Dr. Larsen is an expert in transplantation surgery, immunology and immunotherapy.  With the aid of significant grant funding, his research with Drs. Pearson, Newell and Kirk works to establish true immune tolerance among transplant recipients. This research strives to free patients from the toxic side effects of daily immunosuppressant medicines and achieve permanent, long-term acceptance of organs. 

Areas of primary research focus in his laboratory include:

  1. understanding the fundamental mechanisms involved in the T cell response to transplant tissues, specifically the role of costimulatory pathways in T cell activation, and
  2. the mechanisms involved in immunologic tolerance to self and transplanted tissues.

Drs. Larsen and Pearson have a strong track record of bringing research to the patient — their research in co-stimulation blockade has been brought from basic research in the early 1990s through the primate center and into highly successful clinical trials in humans led by Emory to apply these strategies to the development of a clinically relevant means to achieving hemotopoietic chimerism as a route to clinical transplantation tolerance. Among his many appointments, Dr. Larsen is Professor and holder of the Carlos and Marguerite Mason Chair, Associate Vice President and Executive Director of Emory Transplant Center, Vice Chairman of Research-Surgery, and Director of Mason Transplantation Biology Research Center.

Recent Publications (2007 – 2008)

  • Cardona, K., Z. Milas, E. Strobert, J. Cano, W. Jiang, S.A. Safley, S. Gangappa, B.J. Hering, C.J. Weber, T.C. Pearson, and C.P. Larsen. 2007. Engraftment of adult porcine islet xenografts in diabetic nonhuman primates through targeting of costimulation pathways. Am J Transplant 7:2260-2268.  
  • Ford, M.L., B.H. Koehn, M.E. Wagener, W. Jiang, S. Gangappa, T.C. Pearson, and C.P. Larsen. 2007. Antigen-specific precursor frequency impacts T cell proliferation, differentiation, and requirement for costimulation. The Journal of experimental medicine 204:299-309.  
  • Ford, M.L., M.E. Wagener, S. Gangappa, T.C. Pearson, and C.P. Larsen. 2007. Antigenic disparity impacts outcome of agonism but not blockade of costimulatory pathways in experimental transplant models. Am J Transplant 7:1471-1481.  
  • Gangappa, S., C.P. Larsen, and T.C. Pearson. 2007. Alloimmunity: no toll exemption. Am J Transplant 7:3-4.  
  • Hamby, K., A. Trexler, T.C. Pearson, C.P. Larsen, M.R. Rigby, and L.S. Kean. 2007. NK cells rapidly reject allogeneic bone marrow in the spleen through a perforin- and Ly49D-dependent, but NKG2D-independent mechanism. Am J Transplant 7:1884-1896.  
  • Kean, L.S., A.B. Adams, E. Strobert, R. Hendrix, S. Gangappa, T.R. Jones, N. Shirasugi, M.R. Rigby, K. Hamby, J. Jiang, H. Bello, D. Anderson, K. Cardona, M.M. Durham, T.C. Pearson, and C.P. Larsen. 2007. Induction of chimerism in rhesus macaques through stem cell transplant and costimulation blockade-based immunosuppression. Am J Transplant 7:320-335.  
  • Koehn, B.H., M.A. Williams, K. Borom, S. Gangappa, T.C. Pearson, R. Ahmed, and C.P. Larsen. 2007. Fully MHC-disparate mixed hemopoietic chimeras show specific defects in the control of chronic viral infections. J Immunol 179:2616-2626.  
  • Mueller, S.N., M. Matloubian, D.M. Clemens, A.H. Sharpe, G.J. Freeman, S. Gangappa, C.P. Larsen, and R. Ahmed. 2007. Viral targeting of fibroblastic reticular cells contributes to immunosuppression and persistence during chronic infection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 104:15430-15435.  
  • Newell, K.A., and C.P. Larsen. 2007. Transplantation tolerance. Seminars in nephrology 27:487-497.  
  • Singh, N., P.R. Chandler, Y. Seki, B. Baban, M. Takezaki, D.J. Kahler, D.H. Munn, C.P. Larsen, A.L. Mellor, and M. Iwashima. 2007. Role of CD28 in fatal autoimmune disorder in scurfy mice. Blood 110:1199-1206.  
  • Zahorchak, A.F., L.S. Kean, D. Tokita, H.R. Turnquist, M. Abe, J. Finke, K. Hamby, M.R. Rigby, C.P. Larsen, and A.W. Thomson. 2007. Infusion of stably immature monocyte-derived dendritic cells plus CTLA4Ig modulates alloimmune reactivity in rhesus macaques. Transplantation 84:196-206.  
  • Rigby, M.R., A.M. Trexler, T.C. Pearson, and C.P. Larsen. 2008. CD28/CD154 blockade prevents autoimmune diabetes by inducing non-deletional tolerance following effector T cell expansion. Diabetes, ePub.  
  • Ford, M.L., M.E. Wagener, S.S. Hanna, T.C. Pearson, A.D. Kirk, and C.P. Larsen. 2008. A critical precursor frequency of donor-reactive CD4+ T cell help is required for CD8+ T cell-mediated CD28/CD154–independent rejection. J Immunol 180:7203-7211  
  • Gangappa, S., and C.P. Larsen. 2008. Immunosuppressive protocols for ig-to-human islet transplantation; lessons from pre-clinical non-human primate models. Xenotransplantation 15:107-111  
  • Gangappa, S., K.E. Kokko, L.M. Carlson, T. Gourley, K.A. Newell, T.C. Pearson, R. Ahmed, and C.P. Larsen. 2008. Immune responsiveness and protective immunity after transplantation. Transplant Int 21:293-303  
  • Emamaulee, J.A., S. Merani, C.P. Larsen, and A.M. Shapiro. 2008. Belatacept and basiliximab diminish human antiporcine xenoreactivity and synergize to inhibit alloimmunity. Transplantation 15:118-124  
  • Dobbels, F., P. Moons, I. Abraham, C.P. Larsen, L. Dupont, S. De Geest. 2008. Measuring system experience of side-effects of immunosuppressive drugs; the modified transplant symptom occurrence and distress scale. Transplant Int. ePub.