Luke Barron, PhD
Scientist II

Luke Barron joined the Duffield Lab at Biogen in 2014 to investigate how the immune system damages and regulates the repair of injured tissues. The goals of Luke’s research are to better understand inflammatory responses at the cellular level and to manipulate how they play out in order to ameliorate fibrosis and its related pathologies.

Luke graduated in 1999 with his B.A. and honors from the University of Chicago, that tall bold slugger of a city1. He earned his Ph.D. in 2007 from the University of California, San Francisco, mentored by Dr. Abul Abbas, tackling questions of immune tolerance. He addressed control of self-reactive helper T cells by apoptosis, IL-2’s enhancement of regulatory T cells, and the importance of these pathways for protecting against autoimmunity. In 2008 Luke started a fellowship at the National Institutes of Health with Dr. Thomas Wynn. He explored how helper T cells engage with macrophages during organ damage, allergen response, and helminth parasite infections to either drive or limit inflammation and fibrosis. Luke also studied how shifts in macrophage arginine metabolism impacted these processes. He discovered that sustaining local immune responses requires macrophages to continually recruit activated Th2 cells, and that depleting macrophages can rapidly resolve tissue inflammation and scarring.

Cooking is Luke’s favorite hobby. He can also treat you to a fine cocktail, but he hates washing dishes. Once upon a time Celia Cruz and his upcoming wedding inspired him to dance salsa (intermediate skill, good leader, forgivable style). Now he exercises by keeping up with his little boy and rambling through cities with his wife.

1 Sandberg, C. (1914) Chicago. Poetry 3.


Borthwick, L.A.*, Barron L.*, Hart, K.M., Vannella, K.M., Thompson, R.W., Oland, S., Cheever., A., Sciurba, J., Ramalingam, T.R., Fisher, A.J., and Wynn, T.A. (2015). Macrophages are critical to the maintenance of IL-13-dependent lung inflammation and fibrosis. Mucosal Immunology.

Vannella, K.M., Barron, L., Borthwick, L.A., Kindrachuk, K.N., Narasimhan, P.B., Hart, K.M., Thompson, R.W., White, S., Cheever, A.W., Ramalingam, T.R., and Wynn, T.A. (2014). Incomplete deletion of IL-4Ralpha by LysM(Cre) reveals distinct subsets of M2 macrophages controlling inflammation and fibrosis in chronic schistosomiasis. PLoS pathogens 10, e1004372.

Tham, M., Tan, K.W., Keeble, J., Wang, X., Hubert, S., Barron, L., Tan, N.S., Kato, M., Prevost-Blondel, A., Angeli, V., and Abastado, J.P. (2014). Melanoma-initiating cells exploit M2 macrophage TGFbeta and arginase pathway for survival and proliferation. Oncotarget 15, 12027-42.

Yagi, R., Zhong, C., Northrup, D.L., Yu, F., Bouladoux, N., Spencer, S., Hu, G., Barron, L., Sharma, S., Nakayama, T., et al. (2014). The transcription factor GATA3 is critical for the development of all IL-7Ralpha-expressing innate lymphoid cells. Immunity 40, 378-388.

Meylan, F., Hawley, E.T., Barron, L., Barlow, J.L., Penumetcha, P., Pelletier, M., Sciume, G., Richard, A.C., Hayes, E.T., Gomez-Rodriguez, J., et al. (2014). The TNF-family cytokine TL1A promotes allergic immunopathology through group 2 innate lymphoid cells. Mucosal immunology 7, 958-968.

De Muylder, G., Daulouede, S., Lecordier, L., Uzureau, P., Morias, Y., Van Den Abbeele, J., Caljon, G., Herin, M., Holzmuller, P., Semballa, S., et al. (2013). A Trypanosoma brucei kinesin heavy chain promotes parasite growth by triggering host arginase activity. PLoS pathogens 9, e1003731.

Suwara, M.I., Green, N.J., Borthwick, L.A., Mann, J., Mayer-Barber, K.D., Barron, L., Corris, P.A., Farrow, S.N., Wynn, T.A., Fisher, A.J., and Mann, D.A. (2014). IL-1alpha released from damaged epithelial cells is sufficient and essential to trigger inflammatory responses in human lung fibroblasts. Mucosal immunology 7, 684-693.

Barron, L., Smith, A.M., El Kasmi, K.C., Qualls, J.E., Huang, X., Cheever, A., Borthwick, L.A., Wilson, M.S., Murray, P.J., and Wynn, T.A. (2013). Role of arginase 1 from myeloid cells in th2-dominated lung inflammation. PloS one 8, e61961.

Wynn, T.A., Barron, L., Thompson, R.W., Madala, S.K., Wilson, M.S., Cheever, A.W., and Ramalingam, T. (2011). Quantitative assessment of macrophage functions in repair and fibrosis. Current protocols in immunology / edited by John E. Coligan ... [et al.] Chapter 14, Unit14 22.

Hasnain, S.Z., Evans, C.M., Roy, M., Gallagher, A.L., Kindrachuk, K.N., Barron, L., Dickey, B.F., Wilson, M.S., Wynn, T.A., Grencis, R.K., and Thornton, D.J. (2011). Muc5ac: a critical component mediating the rejection of enteric nematodes. The Journal of experimental medicine 208, 893-900.

Barron, L., and Wynn, T.A. (2011a). Fibrosis is regulated by Th2 and Th17 responses and by dynamic interactions between fibroblasts and macrophages. American journal of physiology. Gastrointestinal and liver physiology 300, G723-728.

Barron, L., and Wynn, T.A. (2011b). Macrophage activation governs schistosomiasis-induced inflammation and fibrosis. European journal of immunology 41, 2509-2514.

Wynn, T.A., and Barron, L. (2010). Macrophages: master regulators of inflammation and fibrosis. Seminars in liver disease 30, 245-257.

Barron, L., Dooms, H., Hoyer, K.K., Kuswanto, W., Hofmann, J., O'Gorman, W.E., and Abbas, A.K. (2010). Cutting edge: mechanisms of IL-2-dependent maintenance of functional regulatory T cells. Journal of immunology 185, 6426-6430.

Hoyer, K.K., Dooms, H., Barron, L., and Abbas, A.K. (2008). Interleukin-2 in the development and control of inflammatory disease. Immunological reviews 226, 19-28.

Barron, L., Knoechel, B., Lohr, J., and Abbas, A.K. (2008). Cutting edge: contributions of apoptosis and anergy to systemic T cell tolerance. Journal of immunology 180, 2762-2766.

Eggena, M.P., Walker, L.S., Nagabhushanam, V., Barron, L., Chodos, A., and Abbas, A.K. (2004). Cooperative roles of CTLA-4 and regulatory T cells in tolerance to an islet cell antigen. The Journal of experimental medicine 199, 1725-1730.

Andres, P.G., Howland, K.C., Nirula, A., Kane, L.P., Barron, L., Dresnek, D., Sadra, A., Imboden, J., Weiss, A., and Abbas, A.K. (2004). Distinct regions in the CD28 cytoplasmic domain are required for T helper type 2 differentiation. Nature immunology 5, 435-442.

* These authors contributed equally to this work.