Diane Mathis, Ph.D.

Diane Mathis, Ph.D.

Harvard Medical School
Diane Mathis, Ph.D.

The Mathis lab studies T cell differentiation and tolerance/autoimmunity, translating mechanistic studies on mouse models to normal and diseased humans.

Research on T cell differentiation in the Mathis group focus on maturation and selection of the T cell repertoire in the thymus, and on cellular and molecular influences on the “flavor” of T cell responses in the periphery. Their studies on autoimmunity explore the immunological mechanisms of type-1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and APECED, in particular central and peripheral mechanisms of T cell tolerance.

The major questions the Mathis group addresses are: what initiates these diseases, how is their progression regulated, what are the final effector mechanisms, and how do genetic and environmental factors impact disease unfolding.

Their work focuses the Aire transcriptional regulatory molecule, Foxp3-expressing regulatory T cells, neonatal tolerance, tissues-Tregs, organismal immunometabolism and gut microbiota. The application of computational and bioinformatic strategies to these and other issues is one of the lab’s particular strengths.


Dr. Mathis is currently a professor of Microbiology and Immunobiology at Harvard Medical School and holder of the Morton Grove-Rasmussen chair of Immunohematology.

Dr. Diane Mathis obtained a BSc from Wake Forest University and a Ph.D. from the University of Rochester. She performed postdoctoral studies at the Laboratoire de Génétique Moléculaire des Eucaryotes in Strasbourg, France and at Stanford University Medical Center. Dr Mathis returned to France at the end of 1983, establishing a laboratory in conjunction with Christophe Benoist at the Institut de Genetique et de Biologie Moleculaire et Cellulaire in Strasbourg. The Mathis/Benoist lab moved to the Joslin Diabetes Center at the end of 1999. The lab joined the Harvard Medical School Pathology department in spring 2009.

Dr Mathis was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2003; the German Academy, Leupoldina, in 2007; and the American Acadamy of Arts and Sciences in 2012.

Dr. Mathis is also an active member of the Commitee on Immunology at Harvard Medical School, the Broad Institute, the Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.

Feature stories

Contact Information