Faculty Profile Placeholder IUSM Logo

Martin J. Richer, PhD

Associate Professor of Microbiology & Immunology

R2 E366
Indianapolis, IN
Pubmed Logo


Martin Richer, PhD, received a BSc Honours in Microbiology & Immunology from McGill University in 1996, an MSc in Microbiology & Immunology from the Université de Montréal in 2000 and a PhD in Microbiology & Immunology from the University of British Columbia in 2010. He did his postdoctoral work under the mentorship of Dr. John Harty at the University of Iowa. Dr. Richer joined the faculty in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at McGill University in Montreal, Canada in 2014. In 2020, Dr. Richer was recruited to the faculty at the Indiana University School of Medicine as an Associate Professor of Microbiology & Immunology.

Research in the Richer Lab is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms that regulate both effector and memory T cell responses. Dr. Richer’s lab is interested in understanding how host-pathogen interactions shape the capacity of the host to mount a protective and long-lasting immune response. The lab has a particular interest in the role of cytokine in shaping primary T cell response and influencing the development and effectiveness of memory responses. The Richer lab also studies the immune response to emerging pathogens, such as Zika virus, with an emphasis on the virus’ capacity to counter host immune responses. 


Key Publications

Valbon SF*, Condotta SA* and Richer MJ (2015). Regulation of Effector and Memory CD8+ T Cell Function by Inflammatory Cytokines. Cytokine. June; 82:16-23. PMID: 26688544. Review. *=authors contributed equally.

Pardy RD, Rajah MM, Condotta SA, Taylor NG, Sagan SM# and Richer MJ# (2017). Analysis of The T Cell Response to Zika Virus and Identification of a Novel CD8+ T Cell Epitope in Immunocompetent Mice. PLOS Pathogens, Feb 23; 13(2): e1006184. PMID: 28231312. #= co-corresponding authors.

Condotta SA and Richer MJ (2017). The Immune Battlefield: The Impact of Inflammatory Cytokines on CD8+ T Cell Immunity, PLOS Pathogens Pearls, Oct 26; 13(10): e1006618. PMID: 29073270. Review.

Smith LK, Boukhaled GM, Condotta SA, Mazouz S, Guthmiller JJ, Vijay R, Butler NS, Bruneau J, Shoukry NH, Krawczyk CM and Richer MJ (2018). Interleukin-10 Directly Inhibits CD8+ T Cell Function by Enhancing N-Glycan Branching to Decrease Antigen Sensitivity. Immunity. Feb 2018; 48(2):299-312. PMID: 29396160.

Pardy RD, Valbon SF and Richer MJ (2019). Running interference: Interplay between Zika virus and the host interferon response. Cytokine. Jul; 119: 7-15. PMID: 30856603. Review.

Nolz JC# and Richer MJ# (2020). Control of memory CD8+ T cell longevity and effector functions by IL-15. Molecular Immunology. Jan;117:180-188. Review. PMID:31816491 #=co-corresponding authors.

Condotta SA, Downey J, Pardy RD, Valbon SF, Tarrab E, Lamarre A, Divangahi M and Richer MJ. (2020) Cyclophilin D Regulates Antiviral CD8+ T Cell Survival in a Cell-Extrinsic Manner. ImmunoHorizons. Apr 24;4(4):217-230. PMID: 32332052

Titles & Appointments

  • Associate Professor of Microbiology & Immunology
  • Education
    2010 PhD University of British Columbia
    2000 MSC Université de Montréal
    1996 BSC McGill University
  • Research

    Effector and memory CD8 T cells play a critical role in the immune response to intracellular pathogens by targeting and killing infected host cells. CD8 T cell responses need to be tightly regulated in order to generate optimal protection while minimizing the risk of immunopathology or the development of autoimmunity. Research in the Richer lab is focused on understanding the role inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines play in the biology of both effector and memory CD8 T cells. In particular, we study how cytokines influence the antigen sensitivity of CD8 T cells and how this process is regulated in health and disease. We have demonstrated that inflammatory cytokines regulate the antigenic sensitivity of both effector and memory CD8 T cells by either enhancing or dampening T-cell receptor signaling capacity and that this can shape the outcome of infection. We are interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms governing this regulation and whether these mechanisms are affected over the course of chronic infection or in disease states such as cancer or autoimmunity. 

    ?In addition, we study how exposure to inflammatory cytokines influences other functional characteristics of developing T cells as well as effector and memory CD8 T cells. Gaining a deeper understanding of the regulation of CD8 T cell function by the inflammatory milieu is likely to have a significant impact on vaccine design as well as on the development of therapies aimed at preventing chronic infection or autoimmune diseases. 

    Finally, the Richer lab has developed a strong interest in understanding the emergence of Zika virus from an innocuous pathogen to a global health threat that caused a major epidemic in the Americas. We have started deciphering the immune correlates of host protection from Zika virus infection. We are studying the mechanisms through which epidemic strains of Zika virus can counter host protection mechanisms in order to establish successful infections. Our long-term goal is to understand how these changes may relate to the increased pathogenesis associated with Zika virus infection and its sudden emergence as an epidemic threat.  

Research Labs

Faculty research at IU School of Medicine is transforming health. Details about the medical research being conducted in faculty labs throughout IU School of Medicine are available in the Research section of this site.

Faculty Labs