Cynthia L. Baldwin

Cynthia L. Baldwin

Professor of Virology & Microbiology

Dr. Cynthia Baldwin

Pronouns: she, her, hers

Office phone: 413-545-3167

Fax: 413-545-6326

Email: cbaldwin [at] vasci [dot] umass [dot] edu

Office location: 427E ISB

Ph.D.: Cornell University, Immunology, 1983
Postdoctoral Training: International Laboratory for Research on Animal
Diseases, Nairobi, Kenya

Cynthia Baldwin has been an investigator in the area of cellular immunology for over 30 years.  Her research has focused on cellular responses to bacterial and protozoan pathogens of humans and livestock including Brucella, Leptospira, Mycobacteria and Theileria. In addition, her research has emphasized the characterization and function of gamma delta T lymphocytes (γδ T cells) in the bovine model. With regard to the latter, she and her colleagues have demonstrated that expression of a family of novel pattern recognition receptors, known as the WC1 co-receptor family, by γδ T cells designates antigen reactivity, in conjunction with the T cell receptor, by binding pathogens and pathogen components directly. WC1 molecules are members of the scavenger receptor cysteine-rich (SRCR) superfamily and are highly relateElectron micrograph of a portion of a macrophage infected with Brucella abortus.d to the CD163 family. Gamma delta T cells stimulated in this manner have immunological memory and appear to be an important component in the response to leptospira vaccination that results in a pro-inflammatory (Th1) type immune response as well as to Mycobacteria bovis infection. These discoveries may influence the way we think about γδ T cells as players in adaptive immunity and potentially in vaccine development.

The lab also studies Brucella abortus, a bacterium that causes disease in a wide variety of agricultural animals and is an important zoonotic pathogen in people, to evaluate how some animals but not others successfully control infections by intracellular pathogens. While macrophages are normally considered to be a primary cell for mediating innate immune responses by phagocytosing and destroying microbes that infect mammals, some microbial organisms including some bacteria and protozoa, have specifically adapted themselves to survive and replicate in host cells thereby “hiding” from protective immune responses. The lab is particularly interested in the role of host cytokines produced by T lymphocytes in controlling the infection through their ability to activate or suppress macrophage antimicrobial activities. Using the mouse model Dr. Baldwin’s lab has shown that responses by B lymphocytes actually impede protective inflammatory immune responses and prolong the high plateau of a primary infection and are themselves infected with the bacterium; these B cells produce regulatory cytokines that are known to suppress macrophage activation.

In the process of defining immune function in cattle, the lab has put effort into reagent development which is shared with the veterinary immunology research community. Dr. Baldwin currently leads the US-Veterinary Immunology Reagent Network (VIRN), a consortium of academic researchers developing reagents and improving immunological capability in a number of species, linked with an industrial partner for technology transfer in the USA. Cynthia is a long-serving Editor-in-Chief of Veterinary Immunology and Immunology, a journal for comparative immunology. She also serves as a Jefferson Science Fellow at the US Department of State/USAID (2009 – 2015) in Washington, DC. As part of her duties there, she travels to Africa in conjunction with the development of the Obama administration’s “Feed the Future” program to increase world food security, which includes a research agenda for reducing infectious diseases in livestock.

She is currently the Principal Investigator on three federally-funded grants in support of global food security including one from the joint National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the National Institute of Health’s program “Dual Purpose with Dual Benefit: Research in Biomedicine and Agriculture Using Agriculturally Important Domestic Species”. This work has the goal of using large animal models of disease (i.e. cattle) to investigate the role of γδ T cells in immune responses to vaccines against Mycobacteria and Leptospira for the benefit of both humans and animals alike.



Kambayashi T, Behrens EM, Bachmann MH, Salicioni AM, Baldwin CL, Karimi MA, Lee E.  2014.  Measuring cytotoxicity by bioluminescence imaging outperforms the standard chromium-51 release assay.. PlosOne. 10.1371/journal.pone.0089357
Chen C, Herzig CTA, Alexander LJ, Keele JW, McDaneld TG, Telfer JC, Baldwin CL.  2012.  Gene number determination and genetic polymorphism of the gamma delta T cell co-receptor WC1 genes.. BMC Genet. 13:86.
Goenka R, Guirnalda PD, Black SJ, Baldwin CL.  2012.  B Lymphocytes provide an infection niche for intracellular bacterium Brucella abortus.. J Infect Dis. 206(1):91-8.
Hudgens E, Tompkins D, Boyd P, Lunney JK, Horohov D, Baldwin CL.  2011.  Expressed gene sequence of the IFNγ-response chemokine CXCL9 of cattle, horses, and swine.. Veterinary immunology and immunopathology. 141(3-4):317-21.
Wang F, Herzig CTA, Chen C, Hsu H, Baldwin CL, Telfer JC.  2011.  Scavenger receptor WC1 contributes to the γδ T cell response to Leptospira.. Molecular immunology. 48(6-7):801-9.
Goenka R, Parent MA, Elzer PH, Baldwin CL.  2011.  B cell-deficient mice display markedly enhanced resistance to the intracellular bacterium Brucella abortus.. The Journal of infectious diseases. 203(8):1136-46.
Herzig CTA, Waters RW, Baldwin CL, Telfer JC.  2010.  Evolution of the CD163 family and its relationship to the bovine gamma delta T cell co-receptor WC1.. BMC evolutionary biology. 10:181.
Herzig CTA, Lefranc M-P, Baldwin CL.  2010.  Annotation and classification of the bovine T cell receptor delta genes.. BMC genomics. 11:100.
Tompkins D, Hudgens E, Horohov D, Baldwin CL.  2010.  Expressed gene sequences of the equine cytokines interleukin-17 and interleukin-23.. Veterinary immunology and immunopathology. 133(2-4):309-13.
Chen C, Herzig CTA, Baldwin CL.  2009.  Expressed gene sequence of bovine IL23A and IL23R.. Veterinary immunology and immunopathology. 128(4):425-30.
Chen C, Herzig CTA, Telfer JC, Baldwin CL.  2009.  Antigenic basis of diversity in the gammadelta T cell co-receptor WC1 family.. Molecular immunology. 46(13):2565-75.
Blumerman SL, Wang F, Herzig CTA, Baldwin CL.  2007.  Molecular cloning of bovine chemokine receptors and expression by WC1+ gammadelta T cells.. Developmental and comparative immunology. 31(1):87-102.
Parent MA, Goenka R, Murphy E, Levier K, Carreiro N, Golding B, Ferguson G, Roop MR, Walker GC, Baldwin CL.  2007.  Brucella abortus bacA mutant induces greater pro-inflammatory cytokines than the wild-type parent strain.. Microbes and infection / Institut Pasteur. 9(1):55-62.
Blumerman SL, Herzig CTA, Baldwin CL.  2007.  WC1+ gammadelta T cell memory population is induced by killed bacterial vaccine.. European journal of immunology. 37(5):1204-16.
Rogers AN, Vanburen DG, Zou B, Lahmers KK, Herzig CTA, Brown WC, Telfer JC, Baldwin CL.  2006.  Characterization of WC1 co-receptors on functionally distinct subpopulations of ruminant gamma delta T cells.. Cellular immunology. 239(2):151-61.
Sathiyaseelan J, Goenka R, Parent M, Benson RM, Murphy EA, Fernandes DM, Foulkes AS, Baldwin CL.  2006.  Treatment of Brucella-susceptible mice with IL-12 increases primary and secondary immunity.. Cellular immunology. 243(1):1-9.
Rogers AN, Vanburen DG, Hedblom EE, Tilahun ME, Telfer JC, Baldwin CL.  2005.  Gammadelta T cell function varies with the expressed WC1 coreceptor.. Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). 174(6):3386-93.
Rogers AN, Vanburen DG, Hedblom E, Tilahun ME, Telfer JC, Baldwin CL.  2005.  Function of ruminant gammadelta T cells is defined by WC1.1 or WC1.2 isoform expression.. Veterinary immunology and immunopathology. 108(1-2):211-7.
Sathiyaseelan T, Naiman B, Welte S, Machugh N, Black SJ, Baldwin CL.  2002.  Immunological characterization of a gammadelta T-cell stimulatory ligand on autologous monocytes.. Immunology. 105(2):181-9.
Rogers AN, Welte S, Black SJ, Baldwin CL.  2002.  Partial cDNA sequences of bovine CD72 and CD166/ALCAM, ligands for SRCR-family accessory molecules CD5 and CD6.. Veterinary immunology and immunopathology. 85(3-4):233-9.
White AM, Blumerman S, Naiman B, Baldwin CL.  2002.  Expression of the bovine high affinity IL-12 receptor beta2.. Veterinary immunology and immunopathology. 84(3-4):127-42.
Baldwin CL, Sathiyaseelan T, Naiman B, White AM, Brown R, Blumerman S, Rogers A, Black SJ.  2002.  Activation of bovine peripheral blood gammadelta T cells for cell division and IFN-gamma production.. Veterinary immunology and immunopathology. 87(3-4):251-9.
Parent MA, Bellaire BH, Murphy EA, Roop MR, Elzer PH, Baldwin CL.  2002.  Brucella abortus siderophore 2,3-dihydroxybenzoic acid (DHBA) facilitates intracellular survival of the bacteria.. Microbial pathogenesis. 32(5):239-48.
Sathiyaseelan T, Rogers A, Baldwin CL.  2002.  Response of bovine gammadelta T cells to activation through CD3.. Veterinary immunology and immunopathology. 90(3-4):155-68.
Baldwin CL.  2002.  Immune response overview.. Veterinary microbiology. 90(1-4):365-6.
Murphy EA, Parent M, Sathiyaseelan J, Jiang X, Baldwin CL.  2001.  Immune control of Brucella abortus 2308 infections in BALB/c mice.. FEMS immunology and medical microbiology. 32(1):85-8.
Baldwin CL, Sathiyaseelan T, Rocchi M, McKeever D.  2000.  Rapid changes occur in the percentage of circulating bovine WC1(+)gamma delta Th1 cells.. Research in veterinary science. 69(2):175-80.
Sathiyaseelan J, Jiang X, Baldwin CL.  2000.  Growth of Brucella abortus in macrophages from resistant and susceptible mouse strains.. Clinical and experimental immunology. 121(2):289-94.
Fernandes DM, Jiang X, Jung JH, Baldwin CL.  1996.  Comparison of T cell cytokines in resistant and susceptible mice infected with virulent Brucella abortus strain 2308.. FEMS immunology and medical microbiology. 16(3-4):193-203.
Fernandes DM, Benson R, Baldwin CL.  1995.  Lack of a role for natural killer cells in early control of Brucella abortus 2308 infections in mice.. Infection and immunity. 63(10):4029-33.