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Abul K. Abbas, MBBS

Research and Clinical Interests

My research is focused on immunological tolerance and autoimmunity. Using transgenic and knockout mice, my laboratory has explored the mechanisms that maintain tolerance to tissue and systemic self-antigens, and the conditions that lead to the breakdown of self-tolerance and the development of autoimmunity

Selected Publications

  • Knoechel B, Lohr J, Kahn E, Bluestone JA, and Abbas AK. Sequential development of effector and regulatory T lymphocytes in response to endogenous systemic antigen. J. Exp. Med. 202:1375-1386, 2005.
  • Rioux JD, and Abbas AK. Paths to understanding the genetic basis of autoimmune disease. Nature 2005; 435:2-7.
  • Sharpe AH, Abbas AK. T-cell costimulation--biology, therapeutic potential, and challenges. New Engl J Med. 355:973-5, 2006.
  • O'Gorman, Dooms H, Thorne SH, Kuswanto W, Simonds EF, Krutzik PO, Nolan G, and Abbas AK. The initial phase of an immune response functions to activate regulatory T-cells. J. Immunol. 183:322-9, 2009.
  • Villarino A, Katzman SD, Gallo E, Miller O, Jiang S, McManus MT and Abbas AK. Posttranscriptional silencing of effector cytokine mRNA underlies the anergic phenotype of self-reactive T cells. Immunity 28:50-60, 2011.
  • Rosenblum MD, Gratz IK, Paw JS, Lee K, Marshak-Rothstein A and Abbas AK. Response to self antigen imprints regulatory memory in tissues. Nature 180:538-42, 2011.
  • Klatzmann D, Abbas AK. The promise of low-dose interleukin-2 therapy for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Nat Rev Immunol 15:283-94, 2015.
  • Rosenblum MD, Way SS, Abbas AK. Regulatory T cell memory. Nat Rev Immunol 16:90-101, 2016.
  • Ali N, Sanchez-Rodriguez R, Zirak B, Pauli M, Truong H, Lai K, Ahn R, Corbin K, Lowe MM, Scharschmidt TC, Taravati K, Tan MR, Ricardo-Gonzalez RR, Nosbaum A, Bertolini M, Liao W, Nestle FO, Paus R, Cotsarelis G, Abbas AK, Rosenblum MD. Regulatory T cells in skin facilitate epithelial stem cell generation. Cell, in press, 2017.


  • Abbas AK, Lichtman AH, Pillai S. CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR IMMUNOLOGY, Philadelphia: Elsevier, 9th edition, 2017. (1st edition published in 1991).
  • Abbas AK and Lichtman AH. BASIC IMMUNOLOGY; Functions and Disorders of the Immune System. Elsevier, Philadelphia. 5th edition, 2016. (1st edition published in 2001).
  • Kumar V, Abbas AK, Aster JC. ROBBINS & COTRAN PATHOLOGIC BASIS OF DISEASE. Elsevier 9th edition, 2014.
  • Kumar V, Abbas AK, Aster JC. ROBBINS BASIC PATHOLOGY, Elsevier 10th edition, 2017.

Selected Awards

  • 1968 Nuffield Scholar, University of Leeds Medical School, Leeds, England
  • 1969 Institute Gold Medal, All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
  • 1987 Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Award, American Association of Pathologists
  • 1988 Irving M. London Teaching Award, Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology
  • 1994 Harvard Medical School Faculty Prize for Excellence in Teaching, Harvard Medical School
  • 1994-04 NIH MERIT Award, NIH
  • 2002 Member, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences
  • 2003-04 President, American Society of Investigative Pathology
  • 2007 Rous-Whipple Award, American Society of Investigative Pathology
  • 2002, 2008, 2010 Distinguished Teaching Award, Outstanding Lecture Series, UCSF School of Medicine
  • 2009 Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • 2010 Robbins Distinguished Educator Award, American Society of Investigative Pathology
  • 2011-13 President, Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies
  • 2017 Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award, UCSF

Additional Information

Abul K. Abbas, MD
  • Professor Emeritus
  • Pathology

Specialty Area

  • Immunology
  • Immunopathology

Contact Information

Mailing/Shipping Address:

  • UCSF
  • Abul K. Abbas, MBBS
  • Pathology, Box 0511
  • 513 Parnassus Avenue, Room HSW-450A
  • San Francisco, CA 94143

Other UCSF Organizational Association(s)

Faculty member

  • BMS Graduate Program
  • Immunology Graduate Program


  • UCSF Cancer Center
  • UCSF Stem Cell Program

Hospital Affiliation(s)

  • Moffitt-Long
  • Mt. Zion
  • Veterans Administration
  • SF General
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