Picture of Peter Pioli

Peter Pioli B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D. Assistant Professor Biochemistry, Microbiology & Immunology

Research Area(s)

  • Antibody-Secreting Cells (aka plasma cells)
  • Hematopoiesis
  • Autoimmunity
  • Inflammation
  • Aging
  • Gene Expression



PhD, 2015, University of Utah
MSc, 2010, University of California, Irvine
BSc, 2006, University of Wisconsin, Parkside

Dr. Pioli received his PhD at the University of Utah while working in the laboratory of Dr. John Weis. During this time, he studied the transcriptional regulation of lymphocyte development and function which included the seminal discovery that Zfp318 is required for the co-expression of IgM and IgD by B lymphocytes, a longstanding enigma of B cell biology. Subsequently, he completed his postdoctoral training at the University of California, Los Angeles under the stewardship of Dr. Kenneth Dorshkind. While in the Dorshkind lab, Dr. Pioli studied both intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms of hematopoietic stem cell aging. These studies led to his discovery that plasma cells evolve over the course of aging and become key determinants of hematopoiesis in the aging bone marrow. 

About the Lab

Antibody-secreting cells (ASCs), also commonly referred to as plasma cells, are terminally differentiated B lymphocytes which contribute to the humoral immune system. Due to their longevity and ability to secrete thousands of antibody molecules per second, these cells can provide long standing protection against bacterial and viral pathogens. We now know that ASCs possess a wide variety of functions beyond just being “antibody factories”. For example, we have previously shown that ASCs from the bone marrow of old mice directly alter patterns of hematopoiesis leading to the increased production of myeloid cells. This increased myeloid output is thought to contribute to age-associated immune dysfunction as well as development of myeloid leukemias. Thus, ASCs have the ability to profoundly influence host biology over the entire lifespan of an organism.

A major focus of our lab is understanding how ASCs regulate hematopoiesis and contribute to the development of disease in a wider context. Using a wide range of techniques (e.g., in vivo signaling blockade, single cell transcriptomics), we ultimately want to decipher the external cues that program ASCs to adopt hematopoietic regulatory properties. By understanding these cues, we hope to develop strategies which will allow us to “tune” ASC behavior to benefit the overall health of the host.



Selected Publications

1. Renner, P; Crone, M; Kornas, M; Pioli, K; Pioli, P. (2021). Intracellular flow cytometry staining of antibody-secreting cells using phycoerythrin-conjugated antibodies: pitfalls and solutions. bioRxiv. http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2022.01.10.475671

2. Hong, J; Ahsan, F; Montecino-Rodriguez, E; Pioli, P; Lee, M-S; Nguyen, T; Brooks, D; Golovato, J; Niazi, K; Dorshkind, K; Teitell, M. (2020). CRTC2 regulates plasma cell metabolism and survival. bioRxiv. http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2021.04.14.439620

3. Dorshkind, K; Höfer, T; Montecino-Rodriguez, E; Pioli, P; Rodewald, H. (2020). Do haematopoietic stem cells age?. Nature reviews. Immunology. 20(3): 196-202. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41577-019-0236-2

4. Pioli, P; Casero, D; Montecino-Rodriguez, E; Morrison, S; Dorshkind K. (2019). Plasma Cells Are Obligate Effectors of Enhanced Myelopoiesis in Aging Bone Marrow. Immunity. 51(2): 351-366.e6. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.immuni.2019.06.006

5. Pioli, P. (2019). Plasma Cells, the Next Generation: Beyond Antibody Secretion. Frontiers in immunology. 10: 2768. http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2019.02768

6. Montecino-Rodriguez, E; Kong, Y; Casero, D; Rouault, A; Dorshkind, K; Pioli, P. (2019). Lymphoid-Biased Hematopoietic Stem Cells Are Maintained with Age and Efficiently Generate Lymphoid Progeny. Stem cell reports. 12(3): 584-596. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.stemcr.2019.01.016