University of Minnesota
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MICaB Faculty

Pamela J. Skinner
Pamela J. Skinner, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department

University of Minnesota, 1998, Ph.D.

612-624-2644 office
612-624-2644 lab

Research Interests:

T cell responses to HIV

Dr. Skinner’s research program focuses on understanding HIV and prion disease immunopathogenesis and the development of novel treatments for these diseases. She received her PhD in the lab of Dr. Harry Orr. Her PhD thesis provided insights into spinocerebellar ataxia pathogenesis. This work resulted in a number of publications including primary authorship on a paper published in Nature and another in Cell. She did postdoctoral studies in the lab of Dr. Ashley Haase, where she developed an in situ MHC tetramer staining (IST) technique to visualize antigen-specific CTL in tissues (published in J.Immunology), a technology she continues to use in her lab to study lentivirus-specific CTL in tissues. Recently, in collaboration with Dr. Liz Connick, she found that HIV and SIV specific CTL are largely excluded from B cell follicles, where virus is most concentrated, supporting the hypothesis that B cell follicles are somewhat of an immune privileged site, and is presently working to develop cellular immunotherapy to target HIV-specific CTL to B cell follicles to functionally cure HIV. She is also working to develop novel diagnostic assays and treatments for prion diseases.

Research in the Skinner lab focuses on two distinct research programs. The goals of the first research program include gaining insights into human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) pathogenesis, aiding in the development of an effective HIV vaccine, and developing novel therapies to functionally cure HIV. The goals of the second program include gaining insights into prion disease pathogenesis, developing novel assays to diagnose prion diseases prior to the onset of clinical symptoms, and developing an effective treatment for prion diseases.

Selected Recent Publications:

(For a comprehensive list of Dr. Skinner's recent publications and citations, refer to Dr. Skinner’s Google Scholar page : )

  • Potential Approaches for Heterologous Prion Protein Treatment of Prion Diseases, Davis M. Seelig , Patricia A. Goodman , Pamela J. Skinner*. 2016. Prion, 10(1):18-24.
  • Pamela J. Skinner*, Hyeon O. Kim, Nikilyn J. Kinzel, Cavan Reilly, and Katherine Olson. 2015. Treatment of Prion Disease with Heterologous Recombinant Prion Proteins, PLoS ONE 10(7): e0131993.
  • T. Dileepan1, Hyeon O Kim, P. Patrick Cleary, and Pamela J Skinner* 2015. In Situ peptide-MHC-II Tetramer Staining of Antigen-Specific CD4+ T Cells in Tissues, PLoS ONE,10(6): e0128862.
  • Miles B, Miller, SM, Folkvord JM, Kimball A, Chamanian M, Meditz AL, Arends T, McCarter MD, Levy DN, Rakasz EG, Skinner PJ, Connick E. 2015. Follicular Regulatory T Cells Impair Follicular T Helper Cells in HIV and SIV Infection. Nat Commun Oct 20;6:8608.
  • Hadia M. Abdelaal, Hyeon O. Kim, Reece Wagstaff, Ryoko Sawahata, Peter J. Southern, and Pamela J. Skinner*. 2015. Comparison of Vibratome and Compresstome sectioning of fresh primate lymphoid and genital tissues for in situ MHC-tetramer and immunofluorescence staining, Journal of Biological Procedures Online, 17(1), 2.
  • Qingsheng Li, Ming Zeng, Lijie Duan, James E. Voss, Anthony J. Smith, Stefan Pambuccian, Liang Shang, Stephen Wietgrefe, Peter J. Southern, Cavan S. Reilly, Pamela J. Skinner, Mary L. Zupancic, John V. Carlis, Michael Piatak, Jr., Diane Waterman, R. Keith Reeves, Katherine Masek-Hammerman, Cynthia A. Derdehn, Michael D. Alpert, David T. Evans, Sybille Muller, James Robinson, Jeffrey D. Lifson, Dennis R.Burton, R. Paul Johnson, and Ashley T. Haase. 2014, Live Simian Immunodeficiency Virus Vaccine Correlate of Protection: Local Antibody Production and Concentration on the Path of Virus Entry, Journal of Immunology 2014; 193:3113-3125.
  • Connick E., Folkvord JM, Lind KT, Rakasz EG, Miles B, Wilson NA, Santiago ML, Stephens EB, Kim HO, Wagstaff R, Li S, Abdelaal HM, Kemp N, Watkins DI, MaWhinney S, Skinner PJ. 2014, Compartmentalization of SIV Replication within Secondary Lymphoid Tissues of Rhesus Macaques is Linked to Disease Stage and Inversely Related to Localization of Virus-Specific CTL, Journal of Immunology, 193:5613-5625. 
  • Arun K. Sasikala-Appukuttan, Hyeon O. Kim, Nikilyn J. Kinzel, Jung Joo Hong, Anthony J. Smith, Reece Wagstaff, Cavan Reilly, Michael Piatak, Jr.,  Jeffrey D. Lifson, R. Paul Johnson , Ashley T . Haase, and Pamela J. Skinner*. 2013. Location and dynamics of the immunodominant CD8 T cells response to SIVDnef immunization and SIVmac251 vaginal challenge. PLoS ONE 8(12): e81623. doi:10.1371.