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Michael Gale Jr., Ph.D., CIIID Director


The CIIID is directed by Michael Gale, Jr. Ph. D., Professor of Immunology at the University Of Washington School Of Medicine. Dr. Gale is an expert in innate immunity, virology, immunology, cytokine biology, virus/host interactions, and immune signaling. His laboratory works to define how virus/host interactions trigger and control innate immunity to direct the outcome of infection and the immune response. Reuters ranks Dr. Gale in the top 1% of cited scientists for medical publications in microbiology/immunology. Throughout his career he has received prestigious awards from top organizations. He was a fellow of the Helen Hay Whitney Foundation, he received the WM Keck Foundation research achievement award, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigator in Infectious Disease award, the Ellison Medical Foundation Infectious Disease Research award, the Milstein Award from the International Society of Interferon and Cytokine Research, and others. He was elected to the American Academy for Microbiology in 2013. Dr. Gale serves as editor for PLOS Pathogens, and is on the editorial board of several scientific journals. He holds multiple patents in the field of innate immunity, and is a founding scientist of Kineta, Inc. a Seattle biotech company focused on developing innate immune therapeutics. Dr. Gale has published over 200 articles and book chapters in the area of innate immunity.

Dr. Gale's research is focused on understanding the molecular basis of immune programming through innate immune signaling and effector action. His lab includes work to identify the innate immune effector genes that serve to protect and control infection by pathogenic RNA viruses, and his group is developing novel innate immune immunotherapeutic approaches to treat infection, enhance vaccine efficacy, and to mediate immune programming for defense against cancer, viral infection, and immune disease.

Dr. Gale works closely with Drs. Keith Elkon, Tomas Mustelin and Ed Clark, CIIID Associate Directors.

Tomas Mustelin, MD, D. Med. Sci., CIIID Associate Director


Dr. Mustelin’s career path has been a successful blend of clinic, academic, and biotech research, which culminated in his joining the UW faculty of the Division of Rheumatology as a Professor of Medicine in 2018. Since September 2019 he is also the Esther and Herndon Maury Endowed Professor in Rheumatoid Arthritis. Dr. Mustelin first trained as an M.D. in Finland before receiving his Doctorate of Medical Science (Ph.D. equivalent) from the University of Helsinki. From there, Dr. Mustelin moved to the United States to complete postdoctoral training at Scripps Institute in La Jolla, working on T cell receptor signaling. This work continued with faculty appointments at La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology and The Burnham Institute for Medical Research.  In 2007, Dr. Mustelin started what he refers to as a “brief 10-year sabbatical” to lead biotech research teams at top pharmaceutical companies, including Amgen, MedImmune/AstraZeneca, and Gilead, with the focus on developing new therapeutics for immune-mediated diseases. During that time he served as Vice President within these companies and directed research and discovery of novel therapeutics. His teams delivered 24 candidate therapeutics into clinical trials, many of which are efficacious in phase 2 and 3 clinical trials.

Dr. Mustelin is thrilled to be returning to a leadership role in academic science. While he had an extremely productive period within industry, he now wants to use his insights and experience from the industry to drive basic science research to solve problems that are holding up therapeutic progress in biotech:  “I have come to understand that drug development in industry is often unsuccessful for a very simple reason: the molecular core mechanisms that initiate and perpetuate many serious and common human diseases are still poorly understood. Hence, industry often does not know what drug targets to pursue.“  explained Dr. Mustelin. “My goal is to devote the next phase of my scientific career to explore the relevant pathogenic mechanisms of diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, to improve our understanding and enable the development of better therapies for these diseases in the future.”   The focus of Dr. Mustelin’s research at UW is on elucidating the molecular underpinnings of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV), primary Sjögren’s syndrome (pSS), and other autoimmune conditions.

Keith Elkon, M.D., CIIID Associate Director, CIIID Translation Core Leader


Keith Elkon, M.D. is Professor of Medicine and Immunology and Co-Director of the CIIID at the University of Washington, Seattle. Dr. Elkon received his medical degree from the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. He received postdoctoral training at the Hammersmith Hospital, London and at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York where he worked for 20 years. Dr. Elkon was appointed as Head, Division of Rheumatology, at the University of Washington in 2001.

Dr. Elkon's research objective is to better define the molecular basis for systemic autoimmune diseases such as lupus (SLE). He has made a number of contributions to the identification of autoantibody specificities in SLE. Since 1994, Dr Elkon's laboratory has focused on pathways of apoptosis and the processing of apoptotic cells showing how defects in these pathways lead to immune responses to self. Current studies focus on how cell debris, particularly nucleic acids, lead to inflammation and type 1 interferon expression. He has also pioneered therapeutic strategies to prevent nucleic acid stimulation of inflammation.

Dr. Elkon has been on the editorial boards of many journals including Arthritis and Rheumatism, Lupus, Autoimmunity, Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology, Arthritis Research and Therapy, Journal of Experimental Medicine, Journal of Cytokine & Interferon Research, Frontiers of B cell Biology, and Frontiers of Innate Immunity. He is currently Associate Editor of the Journal of Immunology. He served on numerous NIH Study Sections as well as the Lupus Research Institute Scientific Advisory Board, National Arthritis Foundation Medical and Scientific Advisory Board. He is a past president of the Henry Kunkel Society. Dr. Elkon has served on numerous National and International Grant Review Agencies and has received many honors, including invited speaker at the 100th Anniversary of the Nobel Prizes, a NIH Research Career Development Award, and is a recipient of the University of Washington CoMotion Presidential Innovation Fellow Award. He has published extensively with 230 original manuscripts, 40 editorials and reviews, and 27 book chapters. He has 6 patents approved or pending and has helped to spin out three startup companies from UW: Resolve Therapeutics, Theripion and Amdax Therapeutics. A biologic produced by Resolve Therapeutics, RSLV132, is currently in Phase II clinical trials for the treatment of Lupus.

Edward Clark, PhD, Emeritus Associate Director and Advisor


Edward A. Clark, Ph.D. is a retired Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Adjunct Professor of Medicine (Rheumatology) and Co-Director of the CIIID at the University of Washington, Seattle. Dr. Clark received his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of California, Los Angeles and carried out postdoctoral research at University College London before joining the University of Washington faculty in 1979.

Dr. Clark's major research goals have included defining and characterizing receptors expressed on human B lymphocytes and dendritic cells (DCs). His lab used monoclonal antibody (mAb) technology to discover and characterize receptors such as CD20, CD22, CD80 (B7/BB1), CD40 and CD180 (RP105). He helped to define the molecular basis of how T cells help B cells through the CD40 receptor as well as the molecular basis of T cell co-stimulation by showing that CD80 is a ligand for CD28 on T cells. During the course of this work, Dr. Clark co-found the first immunology-based biotechnology companies in Seattle, Genetic Systems, which was eventually bought by Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS). His studies help pave the way toward the development of important and effective immunotherapeutic drugs that target CD20 such as Rituximab (Genentech) or interfere with T cell co-stimulation such as Abatacept (BMS). Dr. Clark also helped to co-found Trubion Pharmaceuticals (2001) to develop immunotherapeutics to treat cancer patients and patients with autoimmune diseases.

Dr. Clark’s lab has focused on innate signaling pathways and on investigating the programming of B cells and DC subsets by pathogens and novel methods for targeting antigens into the immune system to program humoral immune responses. Based on his findings of how humoral immunity is programmed, his group has begun to develop and assess novel immunotherapeutics for inducing protective immunity through targeting viral antigens (Ags) to the CD180 receptor. In proof-of-concept studies he has shown that a West Nile virus (WNV) E protein coupled to anti-CD180 can induce protective immunity even in immunodeficient mice. Based on this finding he is currently developing novel immunotherapeutic platforms that can be effective in immunodeficient or immunocompromised individuals. He and his colleagues have recently launched a new start-up company, Shilshole Bioscience. Dr. Clark’s third biotech company will use the CD180 platform technology to develop immunotherapeutics for treatment of chronic hepatitis B patients and other viral diseases.

Dr. Clark has received the following awards in recognition of his accomplishments: a Japanese Ministry of Education (Mombusho), Foreign Research Scholarship in 1987, an NIH/NIAID MERIT Award 2004-2014, and a University of Washington Presidential Entrepreneurial Faculty Fellowship 2014-2016. Dr. Clark has also been recognized as one of the most highly cited immunologists in the world by Science Watch (1990-1994, No. 15, and Science Watch Most Highly Cited Authors in Immunology, 1981-2001).