Brian C. Schaefer


Department of Primary Appointment:
School of Medicine
Microbiology and Immunology
Location: Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD
Research Interests:
Immunology, Host Defenses
Cell Mechanisms of Disease, Cell Injury and Repair
Office Phone


Ph.D. in Immunology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, 1995
B.S. in Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 1989


Dr. Brian C. Schaefer is a Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Uniformed Services University (USU) in Bethesda, MD. He also holds secondary appointments as Professor in the following USU graduate (Ph.D.) programs: Emerging Infectious Diseases; Molecular and Cell Biology; and Neuroscience. Dr. Schaefer received his B.S. in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA in 1989. He then performed doctoral studies at Harvard University, where he was awarded his Ph.D. in Immunology in 1995. His dissertation project was performed with Drs. Samuel Speck and Jack Strominger, investigating the molecular basis of a restricted program of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) gene expression in Burkitt lymphoma. After a brief post-doctoral term with Drs. Speck and Strominger, Dr. Schaefer performed post-doctoral studies (1996 - 2002) with Drs. Philippa Marrack and John Kappler, investigating mechanisms of T cell receptor (TCR) signal transduction. Upon starting his faculty position at USU in 2002, Dr. Schaefer's initial research focus was defining molecular mechanisms by which the TCR transduces signals to the transcription factor, NF-kappaB. This project remains a major emphasis in his research program. Additional areas of active investigation now include defining the role of the inflammatory response in the central nervous system in response to traumatic brain injury (TBI) and viral infection; developing new therapeutic strategies to combat neurotropic viral infections; determining the role of myeloid cells in establishing local immunosuppression in lung adenocarcinoma; and elucidating molecular mechanisms that regulate cell death in myeloid cells. Dr. Schaefer has several NIH- and DoD-funded projects on the above topic areas, with collaborators at USU, the NIH, the Murtha Cancer Center (MCC) at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC), the University of Maryland, Duke University Medical Center and the Inova Health System. Dr. Schaefer's honors and awards include the USU Henry Wu Award for excellence in basic science research (2016), a competitive research award from the Dana Foundation Program in Brain and Immuno-imaging (2005) and a Kimmel Scholar Award (2004).

Career Highlights: Positions, Projects, Deployements, Awards and Additional Publications

Uniformed Services University Biomedical Instrumentation Center (BIC) Faculty Advisory Committee – Chair, 2009 - present

National Institutes of Health CMIB (Cell and Molecular Immunology-B) study section, ad hoc member, 2011 - current

Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology Cell Death and Survival Section, Editorial Board, 2013 - current

Representative Bibliography

Traver M, Paul S and Schaefer BC. T cell receptor activation of NF-κB in effector T cells: visualizing signaling events within and beyond the cytoplasmic domain of the immunological synapse. The Immune Synapse: Methods and Protocols, Methods in Molecular Biology, Cosima T. Baldari and Michael L. Dustin (ed.), 2017; 1584:101- 127.

Lagraoui M, Sukumar G, Latoche JR, Maynard S, Dalgard CL, and Schaefer BC. Salsalate treatment following traumatic brain injury reduces inflammation and promotes a neuroprotective and neurogenic transcriptional response with concomitant functional recovery. Brain, Behavior and Immunity, 2017; 61:96-109.

Paul S and Schaefer BC. Visualizing TCR-Induced POLKADOTS Formation and NF-κB Activation in the D10 T-Cell Clone and Mouse Primary Effector T Cells. NF-κB: Methods and Protocols, Methods in Molecular Biology, Michael J. May (ed.), 2015; 1280:219- 38.

Paul S, Traver MK, Kashyap AK, Washington MA, Latoche JR, and Schaefer BC. T cell receptor signals to NF-kappaB are transmitted by a cytosolic p62-Bcl10-Malt1-IKK signalosome. Science Signaling. 2014; 7:ra45.

Paul S, Kashyap AK, Jia W, He Y-W, Schaefer BC. Selective autophagy of the adaptor protein Bcl10 modulates T cell receptor activation of NF-kappaB. Immunity. 2012; 36:947-58.

Lagraoui M, Latoche JR, Cartwright NG, Sukumar G, Dalgard CL, Schaefer BC. Controlled cortical impact and craniotomy induce strikingly similar profiles of inflammatory gene expression, but with distinct kinetics. Front Neurol. 2012; 3:155.

Kingeter LM, Paul S, Maynard SK, Cartwright NG, and Schaefer BC. Cutting Edge: T cell receptor ligation triggers digital activation of NF-kappaB. J. Immunol. 2010; 185:4520-4.

Langel FD, Jain NA, Rossman JS, Kingeter LM, Kashyap AK, and Schaefer BC. Multiple protein domains mediate interaction between Bcl10 and Malt1. J. Biol. Chem. 2008; 283: 32419-31.

Kingeter LM and Schaefer BC. Loss of PKCθ, Bcl10, or Malt1 selectively impairs proliferation and NF-κB activation in the CD4+ T cell subset. J. Immunol. 2008; 181:6244-54.

Rossman JS, Stoicheva NG, Langel FD, Patterson GH, Lippincott-Schwartz J, and Schaefer BC. POLKADOTS are foci of functional interactions between cytosolic intermediates in T cell receptor-induced activation of NF-kappaB. Mol. Biol. Cell 2006; 17:2166-76.