Keri Csencsits Smith

Keri Csencsits Smith


Assistant Professor, Course Director/Examiner Microbiology and Immunology; Chair, Molecular Department


Courses: Infection, Defense and Response, Systems and Disease IV 

Keri Csencsits Smith took an immunology and infectious disease class while an undergrad at University of Delaware in 1992 and decided she wanted to pursue this field of study. She went on to complete her doctorate at Montana State University (Ph.D. 2001), where her project focused on mucosal immunology and lymphocyte homing.

Dr. Smith then completed postdoctoral research training in transplantation immunology at the University of Michigan, and in 2008 joined the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. There, she collaborated with colleagues in hematology, neurology, and oncology to study cytokine response in human disease.

Over the course of her research career, Dr. Smith published multiple peer-reviewed papers in publications including 
The Journal of Immunology, and the American Journal of Transplantation, and presented her findings at national and international research conferences. She has been a member of The American Association of Immunologists since 2008. 

She also mentored more than 10 medical students through summer research projects, served as an advisor for a Master’s degree student, and directed courses in histology and immunology for graduate and medical students. In 2018 she was thrilled to join the faculty at Saba University School of Medicine, where she now teaches immunology and infectious disease full time. She’s currently a member of the American Association of Immunologists Teaching Group working to standardize immunology teaching curricula nationwide. 

  • Cellular Immunology
  • Transplantation
  • Mucosal Immunology
  • Flow Cytometry

  • UT-Health Medical School Dean’s Teaching Excellence Award, 2008-2010, 2012, 2014 
  • UT-Health Young Investigator Award, 2007 
  • International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis XXIst International Congress Young Investigator Award, 2007 
  • American Transplant Congress Young Investigator Award, 2005 
  • American Society of Transplantation Basic Science Fellowship, 2004-2005 
  • American Association of Immunologists-Huang Foundation Trainee Achievement Award, 2001 
  • Baynard-Taylor Graduate Fellowship, 2000-2001 

Peer-reviewed publications:

  • Csencsits, K. L., Jutila, M. A., and Pascual, D. W.: Nasal-associated lymphoid tissue (NALT): phenotypic and functional evidence for the primary role of peripheral node addressin in naive lymphocyte adhesion to HEV in a mucosal site. J. Immunol. 163: 1382-1389, 1999. 
  • Wu, Y., Boysun, M., Csencsits, K.L., and Pascual, D.W.: Gene transfer facilitated by a cellular targeting molecule, reovirus protein σ1. Gene Therapy 7: 61-69, 2000. 
  • Wu, Y., Wang, X., Csencsits, K. L., Haddad, A., Walters, N., and Pascual, D. W.: M-cell targeted DNA vaccination. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., USA 98: 9318-9323, 2001.  
  • Csencsits, K. L., Walters, N., and Pascual, D. W.: Cutting Edge: Dichotomy of homing receptor dependence by mucosal effector B cells:  αE vs. L-selectin. J. Immunol. 167: 2441-2445, 2001. 
  • Csencsits, K. L., Jutila, M. A., and Pascual, D. W.: Mucosal addressin expression and naive lymphocyte binding interactions vary among the cranial, oral, and nasal-associated lymphoid tissues.  Eur. J. Immunol. 32: 3029-3039, 2002. 
  • Csencsits, K. L., and Pascual, D. W.: Absence of L-selectin delays mucosal B cell responses in non-intestinal effector tissues. J. Immunol. 169: 5645-5659, 2002. 
  • Nathan, M. J., Mold, J. E., Wood, S. C., Csencsits, K. Lu, G, Eichwald, E. J., and Bishop, D. K.: Requirement for donor and recipient CD40 expression in cardiac allograft rejection: induction of Th1 responses and influence of donor-derived dendritic cells. J. Immunol. 172: 6626-6633, 2004. 
  • Csencsits, K., Wood, S. C., Lu, G., Magee, J. C., Eichwald, E. J., Chang, C.-H., and Bishop, D. K.: Graft rejection mediated by CD4+ T cells via indirect recognition of alloantigen is associated with dominant Th2 response.  Eur. J. Immunol. 35: 843-851, 2005. 
  • Csencsits, K., Wood, S. C., Lu, G., and Bishop, D. K.: TGFβ gene transfer is associated with the development of regulatory cells.  Am. J. Transplant. 5: 2378-2384, 2005. 
  • Csencsits, K., Wood, S. C., Lu, G., Faust, S. M., Brigstock, D., Eichwald, E. J., Orosz, C. G., and Bishop, D. K.: Transforming growth factor-beta induced connective tissue growth factor and chronic allograft rejection. Am. J. Transplant. 6: 959-966, 2006. 
  • Pascual, D. W., Riccardi, C., and Csencsits-Smith, K. Distal IgA immunity can be sustained by αEβ7+ B cells in L-selectin-/- mice following oral immunization. Mucosal Immunol. 1:68-77, 2008. 
  • Welling, T.H. Lu, G.  Csencsits, K.  Wood, S.C. Jarvinen, L.  Bishop, D.K.: Regulation of alloimmune Th1 responses by the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21 following transplantation. Surgery. 143:394-403. 2008. 
  • Csencsits, K., Burrell, B. Lu, G., Eichwald, E. J., Stahl, G. L., Bishop, D.K.: The classical complement pathway in transplantation:  unanticipated protective effects of C1q and role in inductive antibody therapy. American J. of Transplantation. 8:1622-1630. 2008. 
  • Planque, S.  Escobar, M. A., Smith, K. C., Taguchi, H., Nishiyama, Y., Donnachie, E., Pratt, K. P., and Paul, S.:  Covalent inactivation of factor FVIII antibodies from hemophilia A patients by an electrophilic FVIII analog. J. Biol. Chem. 283:11876-11886. 2008. 
  • Burrell, B. E., Csencsits, K., Lu, G., Grabauskiene, S., and Bishop. D. K.:  CD8+ Th17 mediate costimulation blockade resistant allograft rejection in T-bet deficient mice. J. Immunol. 181:3906-3914. 2008. 
  • Booth, A. J., Csencsits-Smith, K., Wood, S.C., Lu, G and Bishop, D. K.: Connective tissue growth factor promotes fibrosis downstream of TGFβ and IL-6 in chronic cardiac allograft rejection. Am. J. of Transplantation, Am. J. of Transplantation, 10: 220-230. 2010. 
  • Brown, E. L., Nishiyama, Y., Dunkle, J. W., Aggarwal, S., Planque, S., Watanabe, K., Csencsits-Smith, K., Bowden, M.G., Kaplan, S., and Paul, S.: Constitutive production of catalytic antibodies to a Staphylococcus aureus virulence factor and effect of infection. J. Biol. Chem. 287: 9940-9951. 2012. 
  • Brown, E. L. Csencsits-Smith, K. Bowden, M. G.: Identification of a T-cell epitope in the Staphylococcus aureus Panton-Valentine LukS-PV component Open J Immunol. 2:111-115. 2012. 
  • Krill, K. T., Csencsits-Smith, K. Wood, S. C., Faust, S., Lu, G., Bishop D. K.:  Glucocorticoid induced TNFR-related protein stimulation reverses cardiac allograft acceptance induced by CD40-CD40L blockade. Clin. Dev. Immunol. 2013:986859. 2013.  
  • Grzywa, R., Burchacka, E., Łęcka, M., Winiarski, L., Walczak, M., Łupicka-Słowik, A., Wysocka M., Burster T., Bobrek K, Csencsits-Smith, K., Lesner, A., Sieńczyk, M.: Synthesis of novel phosphonic-type activity-based probes for neutrophil serine proteases and their application in spleen lysates of different organisms. ChemBioChem, 15: 2605-2612, 2014. 
  • Csencsits-Smith, K., Grushin, K. Stoilova-McPhie, S. Binding of Factor VIII to lipid nanodiscs increases its clotting function in a mouse model of Hemophilia A. J Blood Disorders and Transfusion. J Blood Disord Transfus 6:325, 2015. 
  • Brown, R. E. Buryanek, J., Tammisetti, V. S., McGuire, M. F., Csencsits-Smith, K. Morphoproteomics and Biomedical Analytics Confirm the mTORC2/Akt Pathway as a Resistance Signature and Activated ERK and STAT3 as Concomitant Prosurvival/Antiapoptotic Pathways in Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC) Progressing on Rapalogs: Pathogenesis and Therapeutic Options. Oncotarget. 7:41612, 2016.  
  • Csencsits-Smith, K, Suescun, J, Li, K., Luo, S., Bick, DL and Schiess, M. Serum lymphocyte-associated cytokine concentrations change more rapidly over time in Multiple System Atrophy compared to Parkinson’s disease. Neuroimmunomodulation. 23: 301, 2016.
Invited Articles (Reviews, Editorials, etc.) in journals:

  • Csencsits, K. L. and Bishop, D. K.: Contrasting alloreactive CD4 and CD8 T cells: there’s more to it than MHC restriction. Am. J. Transplant 3: 107-115, 2002.
  • Actor, A. M., Holley, C. K., and Csencsits-Smith, K.: Role of B cells in breaking and maintaining tolerance to clotting factor VIII in congenital and acquired hemophilia A.  Antibodies 3: 192-204. 2014.

Chapter Contributions to Books: 

  • Csencsits, K. and Bishop, D. K.: Overview of cytokine structure and function. In: Immunobiology of Organ Transplantation. Editors: D. S. Wilkes and W. J. Burlingame. Kluwer Academic Publishers, New York. p. 405-435, 2003.   
  • Csencsits-Smith, K. and Actor, J. K.:  2014. “The B Lymphocyte and the Humoral Response” In: Introductory Immunology: Basic Concepts for Interdisciplinary Applications. 1st Edition. Elsevier, Philadelphia, PA.  p. 28-41, 2014. 
  • Csencsits-Smith, K. and Actor, J. K.:  “Assessment of Immune Parameters and Immunodiagnostics” In: Introductory Immunology: Basic Concepts for Interdisciplinary Applications. 1st Edition. Elsevier, Philadelphia, PA.  p. 135-152, 2014. 

Volume Editor:

  • Translational Inflammation, Editors: J. K. Actor and K. C. Smith. Part of Perpectives in Translational Cell Biology, Editor: P. M. Conn. Academic Press, San Diego, CA. 2019. 

  • Contribution of peripheral immune cells to chronic neurodegeneration 
  • Understanding lymphocyte subsets that contribute to anti- FVIII inhibitor antibody  
  • Specific T helper cell subsets that drive co-stimulation blockade resistant allograft rejection.  
  • Receptors that mediate lymphocyte homing to and from the upper respiratory tract

  • Covid-19: Past, Present  and Future.  Saba Lions Club town hall meeting, Windwardside, Saba, Dutch Caribbean, November 17, 2020. 
  • A beginners’ guide to immunology. UT Center for Laboratory Animal Medicine and Care technician training seminar series. January 13, 2017.
  • Serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor as an indication of disease state in Parkinsonism and RBD. 20th International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders, Berlin, Germany June 19-23, 2016.
  • The Challenge of Inhibitors – One CDA Researcher’s Perspective. National Hemophilia Foundation Corporate Partnership Summit, New York, NY, September 13, 2011. 
  • Dissecting the immune response to FVIII, how can we make sense of it all?  Research Fellows Luncheon, National Hemophilia Foundation 62nd Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, November 12, 2010.
  • Immunology Lecturer, International Program of the School of Medicine of the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara, September 2009. 
  • A covalent reactive antigen analog to FVIII reduces antibody production in memory B cells after re-stimulation with FVIII: XXIst International Congress, Geneva, Switzerland July 6-12, 2007. 
  • Alloreactive CD8+ T cells are resistant to anti-CD40L therapy in T-bet-/- and IL-12p35/p40-/-, but not IL-12Rbeta2-/- mice: American Transplant Congress 2005, Seattle, WA, May 21-25, 2005. 
  • Regulatory cells induced by TGF-beta1 gene transfer mediate long-term cardiac allograft survival: American Transplant Congress 2003, Washington D. C., May 31-June 4, 2003. 
  • Study of lymphocyte homing using transgenic and knockout mouse models. Annual Meeting of the Northern Rocky Mountain Branch of the National Association of Laboratory Animal Science, Yellow Bay Biological Research Station, Flathead Lake, MT, July 1-3, 2001.  
  • Compartmentalization of the mucosal immune system: L-selectin deficiency abates cholera toxin (CT)-specific secretory IgA responses in nasal passages (NP) and reproductive tract (RT), but not intestinal lamina propria (iLP): Experimental Biology 2001, Orlando, FL, March 31-April 4, 2001. 
  • MAdCAM-1 function is increased in initial lymphocyte binding to high endothelial venules (HEV) in murine nasal-associated lymphoid tissue (NALT) immunized with cholera toxin (CT): 10th International Congress of Mucosal Immunology, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, June 27-July 1, 1999. 
  • High endothelial venules (HEV) in the inductive nasal tissues co-express MAdCAM-1 and PNAd, with recruitment of naive lymphocytes predominantly mediated by PNAd. Experimental Biology 98, San Francisco, CA, April 18-22, 1998 


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