James Lokensgard

Professor of Medicine


Administrator Info
Name: IDIM Division Support
Phone: 612-624-9996
Fax: 612-625-4410
Email: IDIMdivision@umn.edu
Mail: Microbiology Research Building, 1st floor mail room, MMC 2821, 689 23rd Ave S.E., Minneapolis, MN 55455

Research in our neurovirology laboratory specifically investigates the role of CNS-infiltrating peripheral immune cells in driving chronic activation of brain-resident glial cells following viral infection. We are currently investigating the role of CD19(-)CD38(+)CD138(+) plasma cells and antiviral antibodies persisting within the CNS during chronic herpesvirus brain infection. We are also applying our viral brain infection models to study experimental immune reconstitution disease of the CNS (CNS-IRD) using T-cell repopulation of lymphopenic hosts (MAIDS animals) harboring HSV brain infection. As well as in the brain, dysregulated chronic immune activation and immune cell infiltration likely promote analogous nerve damage and neurotoxicity within the lumbar spinal cord (LSC) and dorsal root ganglia (DRG). These findings have led us to new studies on the neuropathogenesis of LP-BM5 retrovirus infection (i.e., MAIDS)-induced peripheral neuropathy.

Research Summary

Viral brain infections Dr. Lokensgard's laboratory currently performs studies supporting two independent research programs in neurovirology. The first program investigates host defense mechanisms against cytomegalovirus brain infection. Our experiments investigate how glial cell-produced chemokines recruit peripheral lymphocytes into the brain to control intracerebral spread of MCMV. The Laboratory's other program studies the immunoregulation of herpes simplex virus (HSV) encephalitis by microglial cells. We are investigating how chemokines produced by microglial cells in response to HSV infection initiate cascades of neuroimmune responses that result in the serious brain damage seen during herpes encephalitis. Knowledge gained from these studies will increase our understanding of the role of chemokine networks in regulating brain inflammation with the ultimate goal of finding new therapy for serious viral brain infections.


PhD, University of Minnesota

Fellowships, Residencies, and Visiting Engagements

University of California Los Angeles, Postdoctoral Fellowship