Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Dr. Stephen Tomlinson has been named the new Vice Chair for Research & Faculty Development in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. In this role, he will lead a team of senior faculty members to develop and implement a mentoring plan for junior faculty. Dr. Tomlinson will work closely with Dr. Zihai Li to strategize ideas to more fully develop the science currently held within the department, as well as seek and identify new and collaborative funding opportunities.
Dr. Tomlinson's early career focused on the complement inhibitor, CD59, and identified the active site of this molecule, which led to the rationale design of a more effective CD59-based complement inhibitor, as well as approaches to inhibit the functional site of CD59. In studies on the species selectivity of complement inhibitors, Dr. Tomlinson established the importance of homologous or syngeneic in vivo models for investigating the role of complement in cancer. These studies led to first demonstrations of the importance of complement inhibitors in tumor immune evasion (in relevant in vivo models as opposed to in vitro lysis assays). More recently, Dr. Tomlinson was the first to demonstrate that tumor-expressed complement inhibitors (and their effect on complement activation) can modulate anti-tumor T cell immunity. Further, he pioneered the concept and development of targeted complement inhibition.
As a testament to Dr. Tomlinson’s success, he currently holds membership and/or offices in six international and national societies. His past record of funding boasts completion of ten NIH grants, five DOD grants, and nine other awards, including funds from the VA, the American Heart Association, and other foundations. His current funding includes five NIH grants, two DOD grants, and six other sources, including the VA, Taligen Therapeutics (a spin-off company that he helped start based on his patents), and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. He continues to submit grant applications and has three NIH applications currently pending. In addition to his extramural funding, Dr. Tomlinson has been the recipient of five intramural awards, including a Kaplan Comprehensive Cancer Center Research Grant, a New York University School of Medicine Pilot grant, two Hollings Cancer Center awards, and sponsorship by the University Research Council. He has represented 27 presentations at international and national meetings and has participated as an invited lecturer 40 times, 27 of which were extramural invitations. He has recently served as a journal reviewer for 15 peer-reviewed publications. His publication record details 94 papers in peer-reviewed journals, ten reviews/book chapters, and eight patents.
Dr. Tomlinson is active in aspects of teaching at the bench and in the classroom. He has sponsored ten postdoctoral scholars with fellowships in his laboratory and is currently mentoring three predoctoral fellows. In addition, he has trained a total of 19 postdoctoral scholars in his laboratory and has served on thesis committees for 17 MUSC PhD and MS students. His record of participation on ten academic committees exemplifies his willingness to serve.