Nathan Schuldt

Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Faculty Member, Division of Pediatric Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology


Nathan Schuldt, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics in the Division of Pediatric Rheumatology. Dr. Schuldt runs a laboratory at the University of Minnesota's Center for Immunology. His laboratory investigates the origins of autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes (T1D) and multiple sclerosis (MS). Dr. Schuldt has particular interest in T cell development, tolerance, and fate decisions.

Dr. Schuldt earned his PhD in Genetics in 2012 at Michigan State University training in the laboratory of Andrea Amalfitano, DO, PhD. His graduate studies focused on the interactions between adenovirus and the immune system with the goal of improving adenovirus-based vectors for gene therapy and vaccination. He joined the University of Minnesota Center for Immunology in 2012 as a Postdoctoral Fellow.

Research Summary

Multiple immune tolerance mechanisms prevent self-reactive T cells from becoming pathogenic. Autoimmunity occurs when these mechanisms break down. Thymic selection, also referred to as central tolerance, is the first prevention a self-reactive T cell encounters. During this process antigen recognizing T cell receptors (TCRs) are tested against various self-peptides, those that react too strongly are either deleted or shuttled into the regulatory T cell lineage. My research aims to understand how self-reactive T cells escape this process and initiate autoimmune disease.

One hypothesized method is through the expression of two different TCRs on a single T cells. An estimated 10-20% of all T cells express two functionally recombined TCRs. We hypothesize that this dual TCR expression can limit deletion and regulatory T cell commitment of strongly self-reactive T cells in the thymus. This could explain how self-reactive T cells escape the thymus and enter the periphery as pathogenic T cells. Dual TCR expression is hypothesized to play important roles in several other immune contexts including allo-responses in graft rejection, allergy, and protective immunity. We have developed new tools in our lab that allow us to detect and study dual TCR T cells in several immune contexts.

A second area of interest for the lab is neonatal immune development. At birth, the adaptive immune system is underdeveloped and may function differently than that of adults. As a result, infections are common in neonates and infants. The Schuldt Lab has begun a collaboration to investigate how early microbial exposure influences the development of adaptive immunity. Improved understanding of neonatal adaptive immunity could lead to improved vaccine platforms.


PhD in Genetics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Fellowships, Residencies, and Visiting Engagements

Postdoctoral Fellowship,
Binstadt Lab, University of Minnesota Medical School
Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

Honors and Recognition

29th Annual PRESS Awards, Pediatrics Department, University of Minnesota
31st Annual PRESS Award, Pediatrics Department, University of Minnesota
Basic Science Paper of the Year, Pediatrics Department, University of Minnesota
American Association of Immunologists Trainee Travel Award
Medical School/UMF Assistant Professor Award



Pediatric Rheumatology, Allergy, & Immunology

Academic Office Building
2450 Riverside Ave S AO-10
Minneapolis, MN 55454