Maddie Mix

Neuroimmune interactions of tissue resident memory T cells

The central nervous system (CNS) was once considered to be an immune-privileged organ, but emerging evidence supports that the brain and spinal cord are populated by a variety of resident immune cells at homeostasis. Tissue resident memory (Trm) CD8 T cells are adaptive immune cells that do not recirculate but instead remain permanently situated in tissues like the CNS for rapid protection upon repeated neurological insult. Until recently, it was unknown whether prior CNS infection was absolutely required to generate Trm cell populations. Novel work in our lab has demonstrated that peripheral immunization strategies against viral and bacterial agents also induce antigen-specific Trm cell accumulation in the CNS but not other organs. Unlike most organs, the CNS possesses strict barrier structures, non-redundant anatomy, and broadly projecting neuromodulatory neurons. Given the endemic enrichment of peripherally-induced Trm cells in the CNS, my project seeks to address the role of these brain and spinal-cord specific features on Trm cell recruitment, distribution, maintenance, and function in the CNS.


Todd BP, Luo Z, Gilkes N, Chimenti MS, Peterson Z, Mix MR, Harty JT, Nickl-Jockschat T, Ferguson PJ, Bassuk AG, Newell EA. Selective neuroimmune modulation by type I interferon drives neuropathology and neurologic dysfunction following traumatic brain injury. Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2023 Aug 18;11(1):134. doi: 10.1186/s40478-023-01635-5. PMID: 37596685.

Mix MR, Harty JT. Keeping T cell memories in mind. Trends Immunol. 2022 Dec;43(12):1018-1031. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2022 Nov 8. PMID: 36369103; PMCID: PMC9691610.

Lefebvre MN, Surette FA, Anthony SM, Vijay R, Jensen IJ, Pewe LL, Hancox LS, Van Braeckel-Budimir N, van de Wall S, Urban SL, Mix MR, Kurup SP, Badovinac VP, Butler NS, Harty JT. Expeditious recruitment of circulating memory CD8 T cells to the liver facilitates control of malaria. Cell Rep. 2021 Nov 2;37(5):109956. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109956. PMID: 34731605; PMCID: PMC8628427.

Agostinelli LJ, Mix MR, Hefti MM, Scammell TE, Bassuk AG. Input-output connections of LJA5 prodynorphin neurons. J Comp Neurol. 2020 Jun 30. doi: 10.1002/cne.24974. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32602558.

Honors and Awards

  • Iowa MSTP Student Leadership Award, 2023
  • Trainee Abstract Award, AAI Annual Meeting 2023
  • Abstract Award, Neuroimmune Communication in Health and Disease Gordon Conference 2023
  • Graduate College Post-Comprehensive Research Fellowship 2022
  • Abstract Award, Neuroimmune Interactions in Health and Disease Keystone eSymposia 2021
  • Trainee Abstract Award, AAI Annual Meeting 2018
Maddie Mix
Cedar Falls, IA
BA, Neuroscience, Wartburg College

3-530 BSB
United States

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