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William J Burlingham, PhD

Contact Dr. Burlingham


(608) 263-0388

MADISON, WI 53792-3284

William J Burlingham, PhD

Division of Transplantation


  • PhD, Biology, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, 1979
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, National Cancer Institute, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Medical School, Rochester, MN, 1980-1983

Professional Activities

Dr. Burlingham serves on the editorial board of Transplantation. He is also the chairman of the University of Wisconsin Spring Immunology Seminar Series.

Research Interests

Dr. Burlingham has developed a highly respected transplant basic research program that focuses on acquired immunologic tolerance. His laboratory hopes to gain insight into graft acceptance by studying transplant recipients who have survived after stopping immunosuppressive drugs.

Specifically, his research focuses on the natural exchange of soluble antigens and low numbers of white blood cells that occurs between mother and child during pregnancy and nursing. The lab’s working hypothesis is that this exchange, which leads to persistence of bone marrow-derived maternal blood cells within the offspring (“microchimerism”) may induce a “natural” form of tolerance. This tolerance, if harnessed, may allow for drug-free acceptance of transplanted grafts.

Dr. Burlingham's Lab


Active Clinical Trials

Recent Publications
  • HY Immune Tolerance Is Common in Women without Male Offspring.
    Dierselhuis MP, Jankowska-Gan E, Blokland E, Pool J, Burlingham WJ, van Halteren AG, Goulmy E
    PLoS ONE 2014; 9(3):e91274.
    [PubMed ID: 24646895, PMC ID: 3960116]
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  • The Emerging Role of TH17 Cells in Organ Transplantation.
    Sullivan JA, Adams AB, Burlingham WJ
    Transplantation 2014 Mar 15; 97(5):483-9.
    [PubMed ID: 24212502]
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  • Meeting report of the First Symposium on Chimerism.
    van Halteren AG, Sedlmayr P, Kroneis T, Burlingham WJ, Nelson JL
    Chimerism 2013 Oct 1; 4(4):132-5.
    [PubMed ID: 24247201, PMC ID: 3921194]
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  • Epitope analysis of the collagen type V-specific T cell response in lung transplantation reveals an HLA-DRB1*15 bias in both recipient and donor.
    Keller MR, Haynes LD, Jankowska-Gan E, Sullivan JA, Agashe VV, Burlingham SR, Burlingham WJ
    PLoS ONE 2013; 8(11):e79601.
    [PubMed ID: 24265781, PMC ID: 3827168]
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  • Interleukin 35: A Key Mediator of Suppression and the Propagation of Infectious Tolerance.
    Olson BM, Sullivan JA, Burlingham WJ
    Front Immunol 2013; 4():315.
    [PubMed ID: 24151492, PMC ID: 3798782]
    More Information Copyright © 2014 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System