Timothy A. Springer

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Timothy A. Springer
Alma materHarvard University
Scientific career
FieldsBiology, Immunology, Structural Biology
InstitutionsBoston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School
Doctoral advisorJack Strominger
WebsiteSpringer Lab
Springer Lab Overview

Timothy "Tim" A. Springer, Ph.D. is an immunologist and Latham Family Professor at Harvard Medical School.[1] Springer is best known for his pioneering work in discovering the first integrins[2][3] and intercellular adhesion molecules (ICAMs)[4] and elucidating how these cell adhesion molecules function in the immune system. His innovative use of monoclonal antibodies in his research[3][5][6] paved the way for the development of therapeutic antibodies, known as selective adhesion molecule inhibitors, to treat autoimmune diseases. In recent years, Springer's research interest has expanded to include malaria, transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) signaling molecules, and von Willebrand factor.[7][8]

Education and training[edit]

Springer attended the University of California, Berkeley where he majored in Biochemistry. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa with Distinction and the Departmental Citation, he went on to do his Ph.D. in the lab of Jack Strominger at Harvard University. Following his graduate work, Springer received his postdoctoral training under the guidance of César Milstein at the University of Cambridge.

Business career[edit]

When Moderna Therapeutics launched its IPO in December 2018, Springer became the company's fourth-largest shareholder and made $400 million, after investing $5 million in the startup early on. Earlier, he had made around $100 on his first venture LeukoSite, which in 1999 had been bought by Millennium Pharmaceuticals.[9]

Research focus[edit]

His lab elucidated different steps in the homing process of lymphocytes with a special focus on the integrin LFA-1.[5] His research encompasses the cell adhesion molecules and chemotactic signals involved in lymphocyte migration in health and disease.


Selected publications[edit]

  • Doud, M.B., Koksal, A.C., Mi, L-Z., Song, G. Lu, C., Springer, T.A.. (2012) An unexpected fold in the circumsporozoite protein target of malaria vaccines. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 109: 7817-22. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1205737109. PMID 22547819.
  • Springer, T.A. and Dustin, M.L.. (2012) Integrin Inside-Out Signaling and the Immunological Synapse. Curr Opin Cell Biol 24: 107-115. doi:10.1016/j.ceb.2011.10.004. PMID 22129583.
  • Shi, M., Zhu, J., Wang, R., Chen, X., Mi, L., Walz, T., Springer, T.A.. (2011) Latent TGF-β structure and activation. Nature 474: 343-349. doi: 10.1038/nature10152. PMID 21677751.


  1. ^ Springer CV
  2. ^ Kürzinger K, Reynolds T, Germain RN, Davignon D, Martz E, Springer TA (1981). "A novel lymphocyte function-associated antigen (LFA-1): cellular distribution, quantitative expression, and structure". J. Immunol. 127 (2): 596–602. PMID 6788846.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b Sanchez-Madrid F, Krensky AM, Ware CF, Robbins E, Strominger JL, Burakoff SJ, Springer TA (1982). "Three distinct antigens associated with human T-lymphocyte-mediated cytolysis: LFA-1, LFA-2, and LFA-3". Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 79 (23): 7489–93. doi:10.1073/pnas.79.23.7489. PMC 347365. PMID 6984191.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  4. ^ Rothlein R, Dustin ML, Marlin SD, Springer TA (1986). "A human intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM-1) distinct from LFA-1". J Immunol. 137 (4): 1270–4. PMID 3525675.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  5. ^ a b Davignon D, Martz E, Reynolds T, Kürzinger K, Springer TA (1981). "Lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 (LFA-1): a surface antigen distinct from Lyt-2,3 that participates in T lymphocyte-mediated killing". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 78 (7): 4535–9. doi:10.1073/pnas.78.7.4535. PMID 7027264.
  6. ^ Springer TA (1990). "Adhesion receptors of the immune system". Nature. 346 (6283): 425–34. doi:10.1038/346425a0. PMID 1974032.
  7. ^ "Timothy A. Springer - Faculty Profile".
  8. ^ "Springer Lab - Research Projects".
  9. ^ Term Sheet: The 2018 State of Startups, Fortune
  10. ^ (PDF) https://www.amacad.org/multimedia/pdfs/classlist.pdf. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ Förare, Jonas (2004-01-29). "White-blood-cell migration explained" (Press release). Sweden: Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 2014-01-03.
  12. ^ Brooks, Andrew. "Guggenheim selects seven faculty, affiliates". Harvard Gazette.
  13. ^ Zambon, Kat. "AAAS Council Elects 388 New AAAS Fellows".
  14. ^ "2014 AAI Award Recipients".
  15. ^ "The American Society of Hematology Honors Geraldine P. Schechter, MD, and Timothy Springer, PhD, with 2014 Henry M. Stratton Medal".
  16. ^ 2019 Canada Gairdner International Award