Brian Rudd, MPH, PhD

Dr. Brian Rudd

Department of Microbiology and Immunology

Associate Professor of Immunology

Lab Website

Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
C5 147 VMC
Ithaca, NY 14853

Office: 607.253.4418

Research Interest

My lab seeks to better understand why individuals in early life are more susceptible to infection than adults and respond poorly to vaccination.  While the underlying basis for this increase in susceptibility is not known, many reports have indicated that it is due to quantitative and qualitative differences in neonatal T lymphocytes.  We believe these differences arise from altered programs of T cell production and maintenance during early stages of development.  In early life, there is a greater proportion of immature recent thymic emigrants, more extensive homeostatic proliferation of naïve T cells, different hematopoietic precursors, and a smaller repertoire of T cells.  We are currently using neonatal mouse models of infectious diseases to determine the relative contribution of these differences toward impaired adaptive immune responses.  The goal of my research is to identify the most critical primary defects in neonatal T cells, as well as to uncover the mechanisms that underlie such defects.  Knowledge gained from these studies will then be used to design more effective therapeutic interventions and vaccines that can be safely administered in early life. 


MPH (University of Michigan)
PhD (University of Michigan)

Biography/Professional Experience

Dr. Rudd, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, received his Bachelor of Science from James Madison University and his MPH and PhD from the University of Michigan.  During his postdoctoral fellowship, he investigated the underlying basis for increased susceptibility to pathogens at the extreme ends of the lifespan.


Smith NL, Wissink E, Wang J, Pinello JF, Davenport MP, Grimson A, Rudd BD. (2014).  Rapid Proliferation and Differentiation Impairs the Development of Memory CD8+ T Cells in Early Life. Journal of Immunology. PMID:  24850719 [Epub ahead of print]

Rudd BD, Venturi V, Smith NL, Nzingha K, Goldberg EL, et al. (2013). Acute Neonatal Infections ‘Lock-In’ a Suboptimal CD8+ T Cell Repertoire with Impaired Recall Responses. PLoS Pathog. 9(9): e1003572. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1003572.

Rudd BD, Venturi V, Li G, Samadder P, Ertelt J, Way SS, Davenport MP, Nikolich-Zugich, J.  (2011).  Non-random attrition of the naïve CD8+ T-cell pool with aging governed by TCR:pMHC interactions.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS).  108:13694-13699. 

Rudd BD, Venturi V, Davenport MP and Nikolich-Zugich J.  (2011).  Evolution of the antigen-specific CD8+ T cell repertoire across the entire lifespan: Evidence for clonal homogenization of the old TCR repertoire.  Journal of Immunology.  186:2056-2064.

Nikolich-Zugich J & Rudd BD.  (2010).  Immune memory and aging: an infinite or finite resource.  Current Opinions in Immunology.  22:535-540.

Rudd BD, Venturi V, Smithy MJ, Way SS, Davenport MP and Nikolich-Zugich J.  (2010). Diversity of the CD8+ T cell repertoire elicited against an immunodominant epitope does not depend on the context of infection.  Journal of Immunology.  184:2958-2965.

Awards and Honors


Professional/Academic Affiliations