Russell Vance

Lecture Title: Effector-triggered immunity

Russell Vance grew up in Canada where he attended Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario for his undergraduate (Biochemistry) and Master’s (Philosophy of Science) degrees.

He obtained his PhD in Immunology from the University of California, Berkeley, under the mentorship of David Raulet. His postdoctoral work was with John Mekalanos and William Dietrich at Harvard Medical School. Since establishing his lab at UC Berkeley in 2006, Vance has been interested in identifying the molecular mechanisms underlying innate immune recognition of bacterial pathogens.

His lab is known primarily for its studies of Legionella pneumophila, as well as for mechanistic work on inflammasomes and the discovery that cyclic-di-nucleotides are direct agonists of STING. Since 2013, Vance has been an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.

In 2020, he was awarded the William B. Coley Award for Basic and Cancer Immunology by the Cancer Research Institute. Most recently, the Vance Lab has turned its focus to two bacterial pathogens with a significant global burden, Shigella flexneri and Mycobacterium tuberculosis.