Pulmonary & Critical Care Fellowship Program
MGH BIDMC Harvard Medical School

James J. Moon, PhD


James J. Moon, PhD

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Areas of Expertise: Investigation

Academic Interests

The overall research goal of the Moon Laboratory is to understand how CD4+ T cell tolerance is maintained to antigens that should not be attacked by the immune system.  This includes not only self-antigens, but antigens derived from commensal microbes and environmental proteins that routinely make contact with mucosal surfaces.  Undesirable immune responses to these types of antigens are underlying causes of autoimmune, autoinflammatory, and allergic diseases, respectively. Our aim is to understand how steady state immune tolerance is established for CD4+ T cells with specificity for these antigens, particularly after thymic development. Our lab specializes in the use of state-of-the-art peptide:MHC multimer reagents in conjunction with the latest cellular, molecular, genetic, and systems-based approaches to directly identify and characterize antigen-specific CD4+ T cells in highly physiological in vivo experimental systems.  The achievement of our goals will provide a better understanding of the etiology and progression of hyperimmune diseases and lead to important new insights for therapeutic interventions.

Awards and Recognition

William F. Milton Fund Award

A full list of Dr. Moon’s published work can be found on My Bibliography.

More information can be found on Dr. Moon’s Harvard Catalyst Profile.

+Current Projects

  • T cell tolerance to self antigens
  • T cell tolerance to commensal microbes
  • T cell tolerance to allergens
  • In vivo genome editing of T cells

+Selected Publications

  1. Ansaldo E, Slayden LC, Ching KL, Koch MA, Wolf NK, Plichta DR, Brown EM, Graham DB, Xavier RJ, Moon JJ, Barton GM. Akkermansia muciniphila induces intestinal adaptive immune responses during homeostasis. Science 2019; 364:1179-1184. PMCID pending
  2. DiToro D, Winstead CJ, Pham D, Witte S, Andargachew R, Singer JR, Wilson CG, Zindl CL, Luther RJ, Silberger DJ, Weaver BT, Kolawole EM, Martinez RJ, Turner H, Hatton RD, Moon JJ, Way SS, Evavold BD, Weaver CT. Differential IL-2 Expression Defines Developmental Fates of Follicular versus Non-follicular Helper T cells. Science 2018; PMCID: PMC6501592
  3. Zhao Q, Harbour SN, Kolde R, Latorre IJ, Tun HM, Schoeb TR, Turner H, Moon JJ, Khafipour E, Xavier RJ, Weaver CT, Elson CO. Selective induction of homeostatic Th17 cells in the murine intestine by cholera toxin interacting with the microbiota. J. Immunol. 2017; 199:312-322. PMCID: PMC5539960
  4. Cho JL, Ling MF, Adams DC, Faustino L, Islam SA, Afshar R, Griffith JW, Harris RS, Ng A, Radicioni G, Ford AA, Han AK, Xavier R, Kwok WW, Boucher R, Moon JJ, Hamilos DL, Kesimer M, Suter MJ, Medoff BD, Luster AD. Allergic asthma is distinguished by sensitivity of allergen-specific CD4+ T cells and airway structural cells to type 2 inflammation. Sci. Transl. Med. 2016; 8:359ra132. PMCID: PMC5399547
  5. Hondowicz BD, An D, Schenkel JM, Kim KS, Steach HR, Krishnamurty AT, Keitany GJ, Garza EN, Fraser KA, Moon JJ, Altemeier WA, Masopust D, Pepper M. Allergen-specific CD4+ Th2 cells that contribute to asthma are tissue resident memory cells that require IL-2 for differentiation. Immunity 2016; 44:155-166. PMCID: PMC4720536
  6. Scharschmidt TC, Vasquez KS, Truong HA, Gearty SV, Pauli ML, Nosbaum A, Gratz IK, Otto M, Moon JJ, Liese J, Abbas AK, Fischbach MA, Rosenblum MD. A wave of regulatory T cells into neonatal skin mediates tolerance to commensal microbes. Immunity 2015; 43:1011-1021. PMCID: PMC4654993
  7. Legoux FP, Lim JB, Cauley AW, Dikiy S, Ertelt J, Mariani TJ, Sparwasser T, Way SS, Moon JJ. CD4+ T cell tolerance to tissue-restricted self antigens is mediated by antigen-specific regulatory T cells rather than deletion. Immunity 2015; 43:896-908. PMCID: PMC4654997
  8. Patil SU, Ogunniyi AO, Calatroni A, Tadigotla VR, Ruiter B, Ma A, Moon J, Love JC, Shreffler WG. Peanut oral immunotherapy transiently expands circulating Ara h 2-specific B cells with a homologous repertoire in unrelated subjects. J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. 2015; 136:125-146. PMCID: PMC4494892
  9. Nelson RW, Beisang D, Tubo NJ, Dileepan T, Wiesner DL, Nielson KN, Wuthrich M, Klein BS, Kotov DI, Spanier JA, Fife BT, Moon JJ, Jenkins MK. TCR cross-reactivity between similar foreign and self peptides influences naive cell population size and autoimmunity. Immunity 2015; 42:95-107. PMCID: PMC4355167
  10. Pauken KE, Linehan JL, Spanier JA, Sahli NL, Kalekar L, Binstadt BA, Moon JJ, Mueller DL, Jenkins MK, Fife BT. Cutting Edge: Type 1 diabetes occurs despite robust anergy among endogenous insulin-specific CD4 T cells in NOD mice. J. Immunol. 2013; 191:4913-4917. PMCID: PMC3987747
  11. Groom JR, Richmond J, Murooka TT, Sorensen EW, Sung JH, Bankert K, von Andrian UH, Moon JJ, Mempel TR, Luster AD. CXCR3 receptor-ligand interactions in the lymph node optimize CD4+ T helper 1 differentiation. Immunity 2012; 37:1091-1103. PMCID: PMC3525757
  12. Taniguchi RT, DeVoss JJ, Moon JJ, Sidney J, Sette A, Jenkins MK, Anderson MS. Detection of an autoreactive T cell population within the polyclonal repertoire that undergoes distinct Aire-mediated selection. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2012; 109:7847-7852. PMCID: PMC3356674
  13. Jenkins MK, Moon JJ. The role of naive T cell precursor frequency and recruitment in dictating immune response magnitude. J. Immunol. 2012; 188:4135-4140. PMCID: PMC3334329
  14. Ramadas RA, Roche MI, Moon JJ, Ludwig T, Xavier RJ, Medoff BD. CARMA1 is necessary for optimal T cell responses in a murine model of allergic asthma. J. Immunol. 2011; 187:6197-6207. PMCID: PMC3237896
  15. Moon JJ, Dash P, Oguin III TH, McClaren L, Chu HH, Thomas PG, Jenkins MK. Quantitative impact of thymic selection on Foxp3+ and Foxp3- subsets of self-peptide/MHC class II-specific CD4+ T cells. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2011; 108:14602-14607. PMCID: PMC3167500
  16. Jenkins MK, Chu HH, McLachlan JB, Moon JJ. On the composition of the preimmune repertoire of T cells specific for peptide-Major Histocompatibility Complex ligands. Annu. Rev. Immunol. 2010; 28:275-294. PMCID: PMC Exempt - Invited Review
  17. Chu HH, Moon JJ, Takada K, Pepper M, Molitor JA, Shacker TW, Hogquist KA, Jameson SC, Jenkins MK. Positive selection optimizes the number and function of MHCII-restricted CD4+ T cell clones in the naive polyclonal repertoire. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2009; 106:11241-11245. PMCID: PMC2708705
  18. McLachlan JB, Catron DM, Moon JJ, Jenkins MK. Dendritic cell antigen presentation drives simultaneous cytokine production by effector and regulatory T cells in inflamed skin. Immunity 2009; 30:277-288. PMCID: PMC2770245
  19. Burchill MA, Moon JJ, Chu HH, Vang KB, Lio CJ, Vegoe AL, Hsieh CS, Jenkins MK, Farrar MA. Linked T cell receptor and cytokine signaling govern the development of the regulatory T cell repertoire. Immunity 2008; 28:112-121. PMCID: PMC2430111
  20. Moon JJ, Chu HH, M. Pepper M, McSorley SJ, Jameson SC, Kedl RM, Jenkins MK. Naive CD4+ T cell frequency varies for different epitopes and predicts repertoire diversity and response magnitude. Immunity 2007; 27:203-213. PMCID: PMC2200089
  21. Hataye J, Moon JJ, Khoruts A, Reilly C, Jenkins MK. Naive and memory CD4+ T cell survival controlled by clonal abundance. Science 2006; 312:114-116. NIHMS ID: NIHMS30325