Christopher Hunter is recognized as an international leader in the role of cytokines in the induction of innate and adaptive immunity to infection, as well as their role in the resolution of inflammatory processes. His collaborative studies with the academic and biotechnology communities over the last 25 years on the IL-12 family members has helped to define their role in the induction of cell mediated immunity that have been broadly relevant to many types of inflammatory processes. For example, his discovery that IL-27 was a potent inhibitor of cell mediated immunity has formed the basis for work on its therapeutic potential in cancer and autoimmunity and continues to be a focus of the laboratory.
Professor Hunter obtained his Ph.D. in Parasite Biochemistry (1989) at the University of Glasgow, Britain and a post-doctoral fellowship at Glasgow developed his interest in the role of cytokines in immunity to African Trypanosomes in the CNS. This was followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University (1992-1996) with Jack Remington working on Toxoplasma, before joining the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania (1996-present). There his research group continues to study the cytokines that influence innate and adaptive immunity to Toxoplasma and Cryptosporidium. He has provided extensive service as a journal editor or member of editorial boards as well as extensive peer review for the NIH. He also served as Chair of the Department of Pathobiology (2007-2018) and Director of the Center for Host-Microbial Interactions (21012-2018). He is currently the Mindy Halikman Heyer President’s Distinguished Chair (2015-present).