Professor, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
Rita B. Effros is an immunologist who has been at the UCLA School of Medicine since 1979. She began as a Post-doctoral Fellow in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology, and then joined the Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, where she became a full professor in 1992. Dr. Effros earned her B.A. in Biology from Brandeis University, and her Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Pennsylvania, under the mentorship of Peter Doherty, 1996 Nobel Laureate. Her thesis work on immunity to viruses continues to be her research focus, with special emphasis on telomeres, the regions at the ends of chromosomes which shorten during cell division. Her laboratory discovered that during aging and HIV disease many immune cells have critically short telomeres, paving the way for certain types of immunotherapy that would prevent telomere shortening. In 1998, she was awarded the UCLA Woman of Science Prize, and in 2002 she was named to the Plott Endowed Chair in Gerontology, and in 2007, she was awarded the prestigious Kleemeier Award by the Geronological Society of America. In addition to teaching medical and graduate students, she has been a major force in UCLA undergraduate education, having established an interdisciplinary Honors course on human aging. She has served on numerous university committees, most recently on the Chancellor’s Committee for Gender Equity.
Valenzuela HF, Effros RB Divergent telomerase patterns in human CD4 and CD8 T cells following repeated encounters with the same antigenic stimulus. Clinical Immunology 2002; 105: 117-125.
Dagarag MD, Ng H, Effros RB, Yang OO Functional impact of telomerase transduction on HIV-1 specific memory T cells.. Journal of Virology 2003; 77: 3077-3083.
Pawelec G, Akbar A, Caruso C, Effros R, Grubeck-Loebenstein B, Wikby A Is immunosenescence infectious?. Trends in immunology. . 2004; 25(8): 406-10.
Spaulding C, Guo W, Effros RB Resistance to apoptosis in human CD8+ T cells that reach replicative senescence after multiple rounds of antigen-specific proliferation.. Experimental gerontology. . 1999; 34(5): 633-44.
Effros RB Replicative senescence in the immune system.. Am J. Hum Gen 1998; 62: 1003-1007.
Effros RB, Allsopp R, Chiu CP, Hausner MA, Hirji K, Wang L, Harley CB, Villeponteau B, West MD, Giorgi JV Shortened telomeres in the expanded CD28-CD8+ cell subset in HIV disease implicate replicative senescence in HIV pathogenesis.. AIDS (London, England) . 1996; 10(8): F17-22.
Boucher N, Dufeu-Duchesne T, Vicaut E, Farge D, Effros RB, Schachter F CD28 expression in T cell aging and longevity.. Exp. Gerontol. 1998; 33: 267-282.
Effros RB, Pawelec G Replicative senescence of T cells: does the Hayflick Limit lead to immune exhaustion?. Immunology today. . 1997; 18(9): 450-4.
Spaulding CC, Walford RL, Effros RB The accumulation of non-replicative, non-functional, senescent T cells with age is avoided in calorically restricted mice by an enhancement of T cell apoptosis.. Mechanisms of ageing and development. . 1997; 93(1-3): 25-33.
Valenzuela HF, Effros RB Telomeres and replicative senescence.. Methods in Molecular Medicine: Aging Methods and Protocols 1999;
Effros RB Telomeres and HIV disease.. Microbes and Infection 2002; 2: 69-76.
Slaughter N, Laux I, Tu X, Whitelegge J, Zhu X, Effros RB, Bickel P, Nel A The flotillins are integral lipid raft proteins that play a role in T-cell activation: Implications for the study of immune senescence. . Clin Immunol. 2003; Aug;108(2): 138-51.