Jennifer A. Philips, MD, PhD

Associate Professor of Medicine and Molecular Microbiology & Co-director, Infectious Diseases Division

Jennifer A. Philips is the Co-Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases. Dr. Philips is principal investigator of an NIH-funded lab that studies how Mycobacterium tuberculosis evades the host immune response. M. tuberculosis causes TB, one of the world’s most deadly infections. It has infected humans for millenia and is highly adapted to navigate the complexities of the human immune system. The discoveries in the Philips laboratory have delineated how Mtb blocks lysosomal trafficking, alters host metabolism, and impairs antigen presentation. Her laboratory has identified clinically available drugs that restore the ability of the host to clear M. tuberculosis, overcoming key immune evasion strategies of Mtb. These findings may lead to novel host-directed therapies for TB. In recent unpublished work, they showed that the abundance of an M.tuberculosis-host co-metabolite in sputum and plasma distinguishes Mtb-infected patients from uninfected controls. This may enable development of biomarkers to individualize TB treatment. Thus, by making fundamental discoveries in Mtb pathogenesis, her group hopes to enable better therapies, novel biomarkers, and effective vaccines for one of humankind’s greatest afflictions.

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Additional Titles
  • Co-director, Infectious Diseases Division
Education
  • BA, Biochemistry, summa cum laude: Columbia Universtiy, New York NY (1987)
  • PhD, Biochemistry and Biophysics: University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, San Francisco CA (1998)
  • MD: University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, San Francisco CA (2000)
  • Internship in Internal Medicine: Brigham and Womens’ Hospital, Boston MA (2002)
  • Residency in Internal Medicine: Brigham and Womens’ Hospital, Boston MA (2002)
  • Clinical Fellow in Infecitous Diseases: Brigham and Womens’ Hospital, Boston MA (2003)
  • Research Fellow in Infectious Diseases, Dept of Genetics. Mentors: Norbert Perrimon & Eric Rubin: Harvard Medical School, Boston MA (2006)
Recognition
  • Phi Beta Kappa, elected junior year, Columbia University, 1990
  • summa cum laude, Columbia University, 1991
  • Medical Scientist Training program appointment, UCSF, 1991
  • Krevans Research Fellowship, UCSF, 1997
  • Maxwell Finland Award for Excellence in Research, 2008
  • Massachusetts Infectious Disease Society
  • Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Clinical Scientist Development Award, 2010
  • Infectious Disease Society of America ERF/NFID, Astellas Young Investigator Award, 2010
  • Edward Mallinckrodt, Jr. Foundation Grant, 2011
  • LEAP Inventor Challenge Award, Skandalaris Center, Washington University, 2018
  • Member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI), 2018
  • Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, 2021
Selected Publications
  1. Chandra P, He L, Zimmerman M, Yang G, Köster S, Ouimet M, Wang H, Moore KJ, Dartois V, Schilling Philips, JA. Inhibition of fatty acid oxidation promotes macrophage control of Mycobacterium tuberculosismBio 2020: e01139-20. doi: 10.1128.mBio.01139-20. 7, 939-944. PMID: 32636249; PMCID: 343992.
  2. Köster S, Upadhyay S, Chandra P, Papavinasasundaram K, Yang G, Hassan A, Grigsby S, Mittal E, Park HS, Jones V, Hsu F, Jackson M, Sassetti, C, Philips JA. (2017) Mycobacterium tuberculosis is protected from NADPH oxidase and LC3-associated phagocytosis by the LCP protein CpsA. Proc Natl Acad Sci USAProc Natl Acad Sci 114, E8711-E8720. PMID:28973896.
  3. Portal-Celhay, C., Tufariello, J.M., Srivastava, S., Zahra, A., Grace, P.S., Mehra, A., Park, H.S., Bean, A.J., Ernst, J.D., Jacobs, W.R. Jr*, and Philips, J.A.* (2016) Mycobacterium tuberculosis EsxH inhibits ESCRT-dependent CD4+ T cell activation, Nat Microbiol, 2, 16232. PMID: 27918526; PMCID: PMC5453184. *Co-corresponding, equal contribution

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