Welcome to The Graham Group

Ecological and evolutionary immunology

We aim to understand how natural selection has shaped strategies for both host defense and parasite transmission. We are especially interested in discovering why hosts are so heterogeneous in immune responsiveness. Our laboratory methods will be familiar to immunologists, but our questions as well as our quantitative methods are drawn from evolutionary ecology.

We are fascinated by how immune system behavior emerges from the actions of individual cells, with a particular focus on T cells and neutrophils.  And, of the myriad molecules that power the mammalian immune system, our favorites are cytokines and antibodies. Cytokines are intercellular signalling molecules that determine the type and magnitude of parasite-killing mechanisms enabled; antibodies are among the most potent and specific of those mechanisms. Thanks to excellent graduate alumnae, we have studied defense mechanisms of insect hosts, too.  In all of these systems, we assess effects of strong responses upon both host and parasite fitness, and the selection pressures that shape the type, speed and specificity of responses.

For more on our research, please see our Research and Papers pages.  You can also find us on databases such as ResearchGate, ORCID, ResearcherID, and NCBI.  For glimpses of our field sites, collaborators, dinner parties, and lanturnip (!), please see our photo galleries.

For further information on our collaborative initiatives, please check out the websites of the EEB Disease Group, the Princeton Global Health Program, and our former RCN on Infectious Disease Evolution Across Scales.  You may notice that we hosted the Ecology & Evolution of Infectious Diseases (EEID) conference here at Princeton in June 2019. As the photos attest, much fun was had, despite our norovirus-like outbreak! Our group is interested in evolutionary medicine and therefore the mission of the International Society for Evolution, Medicine & Public Health.

Finally and unequivocally, make no mistake: Black Lives Matter. Andrea and many Graham Group members are working for equality and social justice, both locally and afar. Andrea is happy to discuss so please just ask for the latest action and news.