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Jonathan H. Esensten, MD, PhD

Research and Clinical Interests

Dr. Jonathan Esensten is a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Wendell Lim. His research is focused the development of synthetic and chemical biology approaches for T cell therapeutics. He is co-director of the clinical Regulatory T Cell Manufacturing Group. He is also Medical Director of the UCSF HICTF and GMP Facility, which manufactures regulatory T cell products for clinical trials, among other cell therapy activities. He completed residency in clinical pathology and fellowship in transfusion medicine and blood banking at UCSF.

Selected Publications

  • Esensten JH, Bluestone JA, Lim WA. Engineering Therapeutic T Cells: From Synthetic Biology to Clinical Trials. Annu Rev Pathol. 2017 Jan 24;12:305-330. doi: 10.1146/annurev-pathol-052016-100304. Epub 2016 Dec 5. Review. PubMed PMID: 27959633; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5557092.
  • Esensten JH, Helou YA, Chopra G, Weiss A, Bluestone JA. CD28 Costimulation: From Mechanism to Therapy. Immunity. 2016 May 17;44(5):973-88. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2016.04.020. Review. PubMed PMID: 27192564; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4932896.
  • McCleland ML, Soukup TM, Liu SD, Esensten JH, de Sousa e Melo F, Yaylaoglu M, Warming S, Roose-Girma M, Firestein R. Cdk8 deletion in the Apc(Min) murine tumour model represses EZH2 activity and accelerates tumourigenesis. J Pathol. 2015 Dec;237(4):508-19. doi: 10.1002/path.4596. Epub 2015 Sep 24. PubMed PMID: 26235356.
  • Wiita AP, Hsu GW, Lu CM, Esensten JH, Wells JA. Circulating proteolytic signatures of chemotherapy-induced cell death in humans discovered by N-terminal labeling. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 May 27;111(21):7594-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1405987111. Epub 2014 May 12. PubMed PMID: 24821784; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4040605.
  • Martinez-Llordella M, Esensten JH, Bailey-Bucktrout SL, Lipsky RH, Marini A, Chen J, Mughal M, Mattson MP, Taub DD, Bluestone JA. CD28-inducible transcription factor DEC1 is required for efficient autoreactive CD4+ T cell response. J Exp Med. 2013 Jul 29;210(8):1603-19. doi: 10.1084/jem.20122387. Epub 2013 Jul 22. PubMed PMID: 23878307; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3727315.
  • de Kouchkovsky D, Esensten JH, Rosenthal WL, Morar MM, Bluestone JA, Jeker LT. microRNA-17-92 regulates IL-10 production by regulatory T cells and control of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. J Immunol. 2013 Aug 15;191(4):1594-605. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1203567. Epub 2013 Jul 15. PubMed PMID: 23858035; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4160833.
  • Bour-Jordan H, Esensten JH, Martinez-Llordella M, Penaranda C, Stumpf M, Bluestone JA. Intrinsic and extrinsic control of peripheral T-cell tolerance by costimulatory molecules of the CD28/ B7 family. Immunol Rev. 2011 May;241(1):180-205. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-065X.2011.01011.x. Review. PubMed PMID: 21488898; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3077803.
  • McClymont SA, Putnam AL, Lee MR, Esensten JH, Liu W, Hulme MA, Hoffm├╝ller U, Baron U, Olek S, Bluestone JA, Brusko TM. Plasticity of human regulatory T cells in healthy subjects and patients with type 1 diabetes. J Immunol. 2011 Apr 1;186(7):3918-26. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1003099. Epub 2011 Mar 2. PubMed PMID: 21368230; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3091943.
  • Esensten JH, Wofsy D, Bluestone JA. Regulatory T cells as therapeutic targets in rheumatoid arthritis. Nat Rev Rheumatol. 2009 Oct;5(10):560-5. doi: 10.1038/nrrheum.2009.183. Review. PubMed PMID: 19798031; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3086064.
  • Esensten JH, Lee MR, Glimcher LH, Bluestone JA. T-bet-deficient NOD mice are protected from diabetes due to defects in both T cell and innate immune system function. J Immunol. 2009 Jul 1;183(1):75-82. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.0804154. Epub 2009 Jun 17. PubMed PMID: 19535634; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2732575.
  • Esensten JH, Tsytsykova AV, Lopez-Rodriguez C, Ligeiro FA, Rao A, Goldfeld AE. NFAT5 binds to the TNF promoter distinctly from NFATp, c, 3 and 4, and activates TNF transcription during hypertonic stress alone. Nucleic Acids Res. 2005 Jul 12;33(12):3845-54. Print 2005. PubMed PMID: 16027109; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1175021.

Selected Awards

  • 2016 Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Fellow Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
  • 2013 Krevans Award in Laboratory Medicine San Francisco General Hospital
  • 2012 Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society University of California, San Francisco

Additional Information

Jonathan H. Esensten, MD, PhD
  • Assistant Adjunct Professor
  • Laboratory Medicine
  • Division: Cellular Therapy

Specialty Areas

  • Cellular Therapy
  • Transfusion Medicine and Blood Banking

Contact Information

Mailing/Shipping Address:

  • UCSF
  • Jonathan H. Esensten, MD, PhD
  • Laboratory Medicine, Box 2240
  • 1700 4th Street, MC 2540
  • Byers Hall Room 409
  • San Francisco, CA 94158

Web Site

Other UCSF Organizational Association(s)

  • Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Fellow, Wendell Lim Lab
  • Co-Director, Regulatory T Cell Manufacturing Group
  • Medical Director, HICTF and GMP Facility
  • Attending Physician, Clinical Laboratory, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital & Trauma Center

Hospital Affiliation(s)

  • Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital & Trauma Center
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