Welcome to the Bishop Lab

Gail Bishop lab group photo
Back row, L to R: Bruce Hostager, Kyp Oxley, Emma Hornick, Nate Wieting
Front row, L to R: Tiffany Ybarra, Tina Arkee, Daisy Hernandez, Gail Bishop


(Group Photo Archive)


We are interested in the molecular mechanisms which underlie the processes of lymphocyte activation and tolerance. Our particular areas of current focus are in lymphocyte signaling and interactions between innate and adaptive immune receptors.

The following is a summary of key projects ongoing in the lab:

1. How does TRAF3 regulate B lymphocyte survival and activation? How does TRAF3 act as a tumor suppressor in B cell cancers? How does loss of TRAF3 in aging and chronic inflammation contribute to autoimmunity and predispose to malignancy?

2. What roles does TRAF3 play in regulation of signaling and effector functions of T lymphocytes?

3. How does CD40 signaling contribute to early resistance of cells to infection with Ebola and SARS-CoV-2 viruses?

Learn More about our Research

Gail A. Bishop

Gail A. Bishop received the Ph.D. degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, in 1983. Her doctoral thesis focused upon the immune response to Herpes Simplex virus, under the mentorship of Drs. Joseph Glorioso and Stanley Schwartz. This was followed by postdoctoral work at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, in the laboratories of Drs. Geoffrey Haughton and Jeffrey Frelinger, focusing upon understanding the molecular mechanisms of B lymphocyte activation and the structure-function relationship of B cell signal receptors.

She was appointed Assistant Professor of Microbiology at the University of Iowa in 1989, was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 1994, and to Professor in 1998.  She was appointed as endowed College of Medicine Distinguished Professor of Microbiology in 2001, and Holden Chair of Cancer Biology in 2004.  From 1998-2013, she served as the Director of the Ph.D.-granting Immunology Graduate Program.  In 2004, she was appointed Associate Director for Basic Science Research of the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center.  She currently serves as Director of the Center for Immunology and Immune-Based Diseases. 

Dr. Bishop served as both an Associate and Section Editor of The Journal of Immunology. She served on the Cell Biology and Signal Transduction grant review panel of the National Science Foundation, the Microbiology & Immunology review panel of the American Heart Association, and served as both a member and Chair of the NIH Tumors, Tolerance, and Transplantation study section.  In 2003 she received the University of Iowa Graduate Mentoring Award, and in 2009 was awarded the Iowa Technology Association’s “Woman of Innovation” award for academic research innovation and leadership.  Dr. Bishop received the Bonazinga Award for excellence in Leukocyte Biology Research from the Society for Leukocyte Biology in 2015, as well as the State of Iowa Regents Award for Faculty Excellence.  She received the 2022 Hubbard-Walder Award for Excellence in Teaching. 

Dr. Bishop served on the Council of the American Association of Immunologists from 2007-2011, as AAI Vice-President 2011-12, as President 2012-13, and Past President 2013-14. She currently serves as the AAI representative to the Council of the International Union of Immunology Societies. 

Dr. Bishop was named a Distinguished Fellow of the AAI in 2019, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2020.  She was selected as the 2022 inductee to the Society for Leukocyte Biology Honorary Life Members. 

Lab News

  • Tiffany Ybarra was awarded the Ballard-Seashore Dissertation Fellowship by the Graduate College, 2023
  • Emma Hornick was selected as a Public Policy Fellow by the American Association of Immunologists, 2023-2024
  • Tiffany Ybarra was selected for an oral presentation and meeting award to the annual meeting of the American Association of Immunologists, 2023