Jessica Haverkamp

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  • B.S., Microbiology, Kansas State University
Date left program: 
Degree received: 
Date Ph.D. awarded: 
July, 2011
Outside Advisor: 
Timothy Ratliff, Ph.D.

Our lab is interested in studying prostate inflammation (prostatitis) and the immune cells involved in regulating this disease. To study prostate inflammation, our lab has developed a novel model called the Prostate Ovalbumin Transgenic (POET) mouse which expresses ovalbumin (OVA) specifically in the prostate. To study the regulation of inflammation in the prostate, we induce prostatitis by adoptively transferring OVA specific T cells into POET-3 mice. Using the POET model, our lab has determined that large numbers of myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSC) accumulate in inflamed prostates. MDSC are emerging as critical regulators of T cell mediated immune responses, and evidence suggests that inflammation is involved in activation of suppressive function. The goal of my thesis is to identify the role of MDSC in prostatitis and to evaluate the mechanism(s) they use to suppress T cell function during acute prostatitis.


Svensson RU, Haverkamp JM, Thedens DR, Cohen MB, Ratliff TL, Henry MD. Slow disease progression in a C57BL/6 pten-deficient mouse model of prostate cancer. Am J Pathol. 2011 Jul;179(1):502-12. Epub 2011 May 7. PubMed PMID: 21703427;PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3123867.

Haverkamp JM, Charbonneau B, Crist SA, Meyerholz DK, Cohen MB, Snyder PW, Svensson RU, Henry MD, Wang HH, Ratliff TL. An inducible model of abacterial prostatitis induces antigen specific inflammatory and proliferative changes in the murine prostate. Prostate. 2011 Aug 1;71(11):1139-50. doi: 10.1002/pros.21327. Epub 2011 Jan 12. PubMed PMID: 21656824; PMCID:PMC3136647.

Haverkamp J, Charbonneau B, Ratliff TL. Prostate inflammation and its potential impact on prostate cancer: a current review. J Cell Biochem. 2008 Apr 1;103(5):1344-53. Review. PubMed PMID: 17955503.

Haverkamp JM, Crist SA, Elzey BD, Cimen C, Ratliff TL. In vivo suppressive function of myeloid-derived suppressor cells is limited to the inflammatory site. Eur J Immunol. 2011 Mar;41(3):749-59. doi: 10.1002/eji.201041069. Epub 2011 Feb 2. PubMed PMID: 21287554; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3089902.

Awards, honors, and activities
  • Selected for the 2010 St. Jude National Graduate Student Symposium, Memphis, Tennesee (2010)
  • Travel Award - American Association of Immunologists, 97th Annual Meeting, Baltimore, Maryland (2010)
  • Travel Award - Molecular Targets for Cancer Therapy, 5th Biennial Meeting: Regulatory Myeloid Suppressor Cells in Heath & Disease, Clearwater Beach, Florida (2009)
  • Travel Award - 7th World Basic Urological Research Congress/Society for Basic Urologic Research, Dublin, Ireland (2007)
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Infectious Disease
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital