Jeffrey L. Browning, Ph.D.


Research Professor Microbiology
72 East Concord Street; E520

BS Michigan State University
PhD University of Wisconsin

BU Profile

Jeff Browning did his PhD training in the Biochemistry Department of the University of Wisconsin with two further postdoctoral studies in lipid membrane structure and solid state NMR in the Biophysics Department in the Biozentrum of the University of Basel and in neurobiology at the University of California, San Francisco.  He joined the biotechnology firm Biogen in 1984 as a research scientist in the Immunobiology Department studying TNF family members.  In 2012, he moved to the Department of Microbiology of Boston University School of Medicine and holds an adjunct appointment in the Rheumatology Section.

Research Interests
My focus centers on understanding how the immune system interacts with stromal elements to form the specialized reticular fibroblastic networks orchestrating cell-cell encounters in lymphoid organs.  Fibroblasts can be found in many different states ranging from basic dermal fibroblasts to perivascular adventitial fibroblasts to the highly specialized reticular networks found in lymphoid tissues.  We are currently trying to create a “guidebook” to these states as they occur in vivo as well as assessing the in vitro counterparts of the various differentiation stages.  A major emphasis is on the states of these cells in human diseases and, to this end, we primarily study skin biopsies from scleroderma and lupus patients as well as the various lymphoid organs.  Our goal is to provide a better understanding of these stages allowing insight into the conversion to the fibrotic state in scleroderma as well as the key events that lead to lymphocyte retention in the perivascular compartment.  Such knowledge should lead to novel approaches to pharmacological intervention in autoimmune diseases and oncology.

Representative Publications

  1. Barron, AMS, Mantaro JC, Ho JD, Nazari B, Horback KL, Bhawan J, Lafyatis R, Lam C, Browning JL. 2019. Perivascular Adventitial Fibroblast Specialization Accompanies T Cell Retention in the Inflamed Human Dermis. J. Immunol.202, 56-68. PMID 30510068
  2. Ho JD, Chung HJ, Barron AB, Ho DA, Sahni D, Browning JL, Bhawan J. 2019. An extensive CD34-to-CD90 fibroblast transition defines regions of cutaneous reparative, hypertrophic and keloidal scarring.  J. Am. Acad. Dermatol. 41(1):16-28.  PMID 30320623
  3. St Clair EW, Baer AN, Wei C, Noaiseh G, Parke A, Coca A, Utset TO, Genovese MC, Wallace DJ, McNamara J, Boyle K, Keyes-Elstein L, Browning JL, Franchimont N, Smith K, Guthridge JM, Sanz I, James JA. Autoimmunity Centers of Excellence. 2018. Clinical Efficacy and Safety of Baminercept, a Lymphotoxin β Receptor Fusion Protein, in Primary Sjögren’s Syndrome: Results From a Phase II Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Arthritis Rheum. 70(9):1470-1480PMID: 29604186
  4. Grzegorzewska AP, Seta F, Han R, Czajka CA, Stawski L, Isenberg JS, Browning JL, and M Trojanowska. 2017. Dimethyl Fumarate ameliorates pulmonary arterial hypertension and lung fibrosis by targeting multiple pathways. Sci. Reports 7:41605. PMID: 28150703
  5. Nazari, B, Rice LM, Stifano G, Barron A, Wong YM, Lee J, Korndorf  T, Bhawan J, Lafyatis R and JL Browning. 2016. A Pan-Dermal Fibroblast Transition in Systemic Sclerosis Skin. Am. J. Pathol. 186:2650-2664. PMID: 27565038
  6. Gardet A, Chou WC, Reynolds TL, Velez DB, Fu K, Czerkowicz JM, Bajko J, Ranger AM, Allaire N, Kerns HM, Ryan S, Legault HM, Dunstan RW, Lafyatis R, Lukashev M, Viney JL, Browning JL, and D Rabah. 2016. Pristane-Accelerated Autoimmune Disease in (SWR X NZB) F1 Mice Leads to Prominent Tubulointerstitial Inflammation and Human Lupus Nephritis-Like Fibrosis. PLoS One e0164423. PMID: 27760209
  7. Seleznik G, Seeger, H, J. Bauer J, Fu K, Czerkowicz J, Papandile A, Poreci U, Rabah D, Ranger A, Cohen CD, Lindenmeyer M, Chen J, Edenhofer I, Anders H-J, Lech M, Wüthrich RP, Ruddle NH, Moeller MJ, Kozakowski N, Regele H, Browning JL, Heikenwalder  M, and S Segerer. 2015. The Lymphotoxin β receptor is a potential therapeutic target in renal inflammation. Kidney Int. 89:113-126. PMID: 26398497
  8. Lu, T and Browning, JL. 2014. Role of the Lymphotoxin/LIGHT system in in the Development and Maintenance of Reticular Networks and Vasculature in Lymphoid Tissues. Front. Immunol. 5: 47. PMID: 24575096
  9. Beinkowska, J, Goyal, J, Plavina, T, Allaire, N, Thai, A, Ranger, A, Nirula, A, O’Gorman, J, Weaver, M, Newman, C, Petri, M, Beckman, E and JL Browning. 2014. Lymphotoxin-LIGHT Pathway Regulates the Interferon Signature in Rheumatoid Arthritis. PloS One 9:e112545. PMID: 255405351
  10. Crowe, P.D., VanArsdale, T.L., Walter, B.N., Ware, C.F., Hession, C., Ehrenfels, B., Browning, J.L., Din, W., Goodwin, R.G. and C.A. Smith 2014. Pillars article: A lymphotoxin-B-specific receptor. Science. 1994. 264: 707-710. J Immunol 192: 2015-2018. PMID: 24563505
  11. Gommerman JL, Browning JL, and CF Ware. 2014. The Lymphotoxin Network: orchestrating a type I interferon response to optimize adaptive immunity. Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. 25:139-145. PMID: 24698108
  12. Edwards, KR, Goyal, Plavina, T, Kujawa, J, Goelz, S, Ranger, A, Diego Cadavid, D and JL Browning. 2013. Feasibility of the Use of Combinatorial Chemokine Arrays to Study Blood and CSF in MS. PLoS One 8:e81007. PMID: 24278364
  13. Browning JL. 2012 Lymphotoxin and the amazing technicolor circus of intestinal homeostasis. Mucosal Immunol. 5:228-231. PMID: 22318496
  14. McCarthy, DD, Kujawa, J, Wilson, C, Papandile, A, Poreci, U, Ward, L, Lawson, M, Macpherson, AJ, McCoy, K, Pei, Y, Julian, B, Novak, J, Ranger, A, Gommerman, JL, and JL Browning. 2011. Mice Over-expressing BAFF Develop a Commensal Flora-Dependent, IgA-Associated Nephropathy. J. Clin. Invest. 121:3991-4002. PMID: 21881212
  15. Fava RA, Kennedy SM, Wood SG, Bolstad AI, Bienkowska J, Papandile P, Kelly JA, Mavragani CP, Gatumu M, Skarstein K, Hitchmoth DL  and JL Browning. 2011. Lymphotoxin-beta Receptor Blockade Reduces CXCL13 in Lacrimal Glands and Improves Tear Secretion and Corneal Integrity in the NOD Model of Sjögren’s Syndrome. Arthritis Res. Ther. 13:R182. PMID: 22044682

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