Marco Colonna, MD

Robert Rock Belliveau Professor, Pathology and Immunology


  • Immunobiology

Additional Titles

  • Professor of Immunobiology
  • Professor of Medicine


  • MD, 1983
  • Specialization in Internal Medicine, 1988

Research Lab

Office Location

  • BJC Institute of Health, 8th Floor, Office 8212

Twitter Handle

Research Interests

Dr. Marco Colonna was born in Parma, Italy, received his medical degree and specialization in internal medicine at Parma University (Parma, Italy) and completed his postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School (Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA). He became a scientific member of the Basel Institute for Immunology (Basel, Switzerland). Since 2001 he has been a Professor of Pathology & Immunology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO, USA. Since 2019 Dr. Colonna is a member of the National Academy of Science. Dr. Colonna’s research focuses on immunoreceptors. In this field his accomplishments encompass identification and characterization of the Killer cell Ig-like receptors and HLA-C polymorphisms as their inhibitory ligands, as well as the discovery of the LILR and TREM inhibitory and activating receptor families. Through analysis of the cellular distribution of these receptors, he identified plasmacytoid dendritic cells as source of IFN-/ in anti-viral responses and innate lymphoid cells that produce IL-22 in mucosae. His current areas of research include: 1) Innate lymphoid cells in mucosal immunity. 2) Plasmacytoid dendritic cells in host defense and autoimmunity.3) TREM2 and innate immunoreceptors in Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.

Selected Publications

Peng, V., Xing, X., Bando, J. K., Trsan, T., Di Luccia, B., Collins, P. L., Li, D., Wang, W. L., Lee, H. J., Oltz, E. M., Wang, T., & Colonna, M. (2022). Whole-genome profiling of DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation identifies distinct regulatory programs among innate lymphocytes. Nature immunology, 23(4), 619–631.
Brioschi, S., Wang, W. L., Peng, V., Wang, M., Shchukina, I., Greenberg, Z. J., Bando, J. K., Jaeger, N., Czepielewski, R. S., Swain, A., Mogilenko, D. A., Beatty, W. L., Bayguinov, P., Fitzpatrick, J., Schuettpelz, L. G., Fronick, C. C., Smirnov, I., Kipnis, J., Shapiro, V. S., Wu, G. F., … Colonna, M. (2021). Heterogeneity of meningeal B cells reveals a lymphopoietic niche at the CNS borders. Science (New York, N.Y.), 373(6553), eabf9277.
Sécca, C., Bando, J. K., Fachi, J. L., Gilfillan, S., Peng, V., Di Luccia, B., Cella, M., McDonald, K. G., Newberry, R. D., & Colonna, M. (2021). Spatial distribution of LTi-like cells in intestinal mucosa regulates type 3 innate immunity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118(23), e2101668118.
McFarland, A. P., Yalin, A., Wang, S. Y., Cortez, V. S., Landsberger, T., Sudan, R., Peng, V., Miller, H. L., Ricci, B., David, E., Faccio, R., Amit, I., & Colonna, M. (2021). Multi-tissue single-cell analysis deconstructs the complex programs of mouse natural killer and type 1 innate lymphoid cells in tissues and circulation. Immunity, 54(6), 1320–1337.e4.
Molgora, M., Esaulova, E., Vermi, W., Hou, J., Chen, Y., Luo, J., Brioschi, S., Bugatti, M., Omodei, A. S., Ricci, B., Fronick, C., Panda, S. K., Takeuchi, Y., Gubin, M. M., Faccio, R., Cella, M., Gilfillan, S., Unanue, E. R., Artyomov, M. N., Schreiber, R. D., … Colonna, M. (2020). TREM2 Modulation Remodels the Tumor Myeloid Landscape Enhancing Anti-PD-1 Immunotherapy. Cell, 182(4), 886–900.e17.
Wang, S., Mustafa, M., Yuede, C. M., Salazar, S. V., Kong, P., Long, H., Ward, M., Siddiqui, O., Paul, R., Gilfillan, S., Ibrahim, A., Rhinn, H., Tassi, I., Rosenthal, A., Schwabe, T., & Colonna, M. (2020). Anti-human TREM2 induces microglia proliferation and reduces pathology in an Alzheimer’s disease model. The Journal of experimental medicine, 217(9), e20200785.
Zhou, Y., Song, W. M., Andhey, P. S., Swain, A., Levy, T., Miller, K. R., Poliani, P. L., Cominelli, M., Grover, S., Gilfillan, S., Cella, M., Ulland, T. K., Zaitsev, K., Miyashita, A., Ikeuchi, T., Sainouchi, M., Kakita, A., Bennett, D. A., Schneider, J. A., Nichols, M. R., … Colonna, M. (2020). Human and mouse single-nucleus transcriptomics reveal TREM2-dependent and TREM2-independent cellular responses in Alzheimer’s disease. Nature medicine, 26(1), 131–142.

Teresa A. Page
Washington University School of Medicine
Clinical Science Research Building, 7th Floor, Room 7701A, Campus Box 8118
Tel: 314-747-4237