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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. The other major focus of Dr. Burlingham’s lab is the phenomenon of autoimmunity that develops after lung transplantation. A novel type of T Cells, called Th-17, react to collagen type V and cause inflammation and over-production of collagens causing airway blockage and graft loss. His lab is working on ways to inhibit this process by new forms of immune suppressive drugs and by increasing T regulatory cells that normally prevent autoimmune disease.

View Dr. Burlingham’s Google Scholar Citations Profile.

Dr. Burlingham's Lab


Active Clinical Trials

Recent Publications
  • Bioengineered vocal fold mucosa for voice restoration.
    Ling C, Li Q, Brown ME, Kishimoto Y, Toya Y, Devine EE, Choi KO, Nishimoto K, Norman IG, Tsegyal T, Jiang JJ, Burlingham WJ, Gunasekaran S, Smith LM, Frey BL, Welham NV
    Sci Transl Med 2015 Nov 18; 7(314):314ra187.
    [PubMed ID: 26582902]
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  • Longitudinal Studies of a B Cell-Derived Signature of Tolerance in Renal Transplant Recipients.
    Newell KA, Asare A, Sanz I, Wei C, Rosenberg A, Gao Z, Kanaparthi S, Asare S, Lim N, Stahly M, Howell M, Knechtle S, Kirk A, Marks WH, Kawai T, Spitzer T, Tolkoff-Rubin N, Sykes M, Sachs DH, Cosimi AB, Burlingham WJ, Phippard D, Turka LA
    Am. J. Transplant. 2015 Nov; 15(11):2908-20.
    [PubMed ID: 26461968]
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  • Impact of Leukocyte Function-associated Antigen-1 Blockade on Endogenous Allospecific T Cells to Multiple Minor Histocompatibility Antigen Mismatched Cardiac Allograft.
    Kwun J, Farris AB, Song H, Mahle WT, Burlingham WJ, Knechtle SJ
    Transplantation 2015 Jun 22.
    [PubMed ID: 26102611]
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  • LMP1-deficient Epstein-Barr virus mutant requires T cells for lymphomagenesis.
    Ma SD, Xu X, Plowshay J, Ranheim EA, Burlingham WJ, Jensen JL, Asimakopoulos F, Tang W, Gulley ML, Cesarman E, Gumperz JE, Kenney SC
    J. Clin. Invest. 2015 Jan; 125(1):304-15.
    [PubMed ID: 25485679, PMC ID: 4382240]
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  • Differential requirement for P2X7R function in IL-17 dependent vs. IL-17 independent cellular immune responses.
    Sullivan JA, Jankowska-Gan E, Shi L, Roenneburg D, Hegde S, Greenspan DS, Wilkes DS, Denlinger LC, Burlingham WJ
    Am. J. Transplant. 2014 Jul; 14(7):1512-22.
    [PubMed ID: 24866539, PMC ID: 4295495]
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