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Maddie Mix, M5G




MSTP Learning Community:  Flocks

MSTP Entry Date:  June 11, 2018

PhD Program:



John Harty, PhD

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Neuroimmune interactions of tissue resident memory T cells

The central nervous system (CNS) was once considered to be an immune-privileged organ, but emerging evidence supports that the brain and spinal cord are populated by a variety of resident immune cells at homeostasis. Tissue resident memory (Trm) CD8 T cells are adaptive immune cells that do not recirculate but instead remain permanently situated in tissues like the CNS for rapid protection upon repeated neurological insult. Until recently, it was unknown whether prior CNS infection was absolutely required to generate Trm cell populations. Novel work in our lab has demonstrated that peripheral immunization strategies against viral and bacterial agents also induce antigen-specific Trm cell accumulation in the CNS but not other organs. Unlike most organs, the CNS possesses strict barrier structures, non-redundant anatomy, and broadly projecting neuromodulatory neurons. Given the endemic enrichment of peripherally-induced Trm cells in the CNS, my project seeks to address the role of these brain and spinal-cord specific features on Trm cell recruitment, distribution, maintenance, and function in the CNS.


2019 - Student Interest Group in Neurology (SIGN) Co-President (Jan-Dec)

2019 - American Medical Women's Association (AMWA) Grand Rounds Chair (Jan-Dec)

2018-2019 - Medical Student Ambassador Program (MSAP)

2018-2023 - MSTP Retreat & I Heart Science Committee (Chair 2022-2023; Co-Chair 2021-2022)

2022 - Search Committee Student Representative for CCOM VPMA/Dean


2018 - William Johnson Award for Research in Microbiology & Immunology, Medical Student Research Conference, Sept 14

2018 - Trainee Abstract Award, AAI Annual Meeting

2019 - Francois M. Abboud Prize for Best Platform Presentation (U of I Foundation Award), Medical Student Research Conference, Sept 20

2021 - Abstract Award, Neuroimmune Interactions in Health and Disease Keystone eSymposia

2022 - Fall Graduate College Post-Comp Fellowship

2023 - Abstract Award, Neuroimmune Communication in Health and Disease Gordon Conference

2023 - Trainee Abstract Award, AAI Meeting

2023 - Iowa MSTP Student Leadership Award


2021 Fall - MSTP Step 1 tutor

2022 Spring - Graduate Immunology Teaching Assistant


2017 - BA, Neuroscience - Wartburg College


ORCiD:  0000-0002-2173-608X

Agostinelli LJ, Mix MR, Hefti MM, Scammell TE, Bassuk AG. Input-output connections of LJA5 prodynorphin neurons. J Comp Neurol. 2021 Feb;529(3):635-654. doi: 10.1002/cne.24974. Epub 2020 Jul 24. PubMed PMID: 32602558; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7769903.

Lefebvre MN, Surette FA, Anthony SM, Vijay R, Jensen IJ, Pewe LL, Hancox LS, Van Braeckel-Budimir N, van de Wall S, Urban SL, Mix MR, Kurup SP, Badovinac VP, Butler NS, Harty JT.  Expeditious recruitment of circulating memory CD8 T cells to the liver facilitates control of malaria. Cell Rep. 2021 Nov 2;37(5):109956. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109956. PubMed PMID: 34731605; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8628427.

Mix MR, Harty JT. Keeping T cell memories in mind. Trends Immunol. 2022 Dec;43(12):1018-1031. doi: 10.1016/j.it.2022.10.001. Epub 2022 Nov 8. Review. PubMed PMID: 36369103; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC9691610.

Todd BP, Luo Z, Gilkes N, Chimenti MS, Peterson Z, Mix MR, Harty JT, Nickl-Jockschat T, Ferguson PJ, Bassuk AG, Newell EA. Selective neuroimmune modulation by type I interferon drives neuropathology and neurologic dysfunction following traumatic brain injury. Acta Neuropthol Commun. 2023 Aug 18;11(1):134. doi: 10.1186/s40478-023-01635-5. PMID: 37596685.