Alex Marson

Position: Assistant Professor, UCSF
Microbiology and Immunology
Divisions of Infectious Diseases and Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, and UCSF Diabetes Center


email: alexander.marson [at]


I was fortunate to work under the joint mentorship of Rick Young and Rudolf Jaenisch at the Whitehead Institute at MIT for my PhD training. Using genomic techniques, I studied how multiple cell types, all with identical genetic information, establish highly specialized identities. My research focused on two medically important cell types: regulatory T cells, which are essential in preventing autoimmune disease; and embryonic stem cells, whose potential to differentiate into every type of adult cell offer great promise for regenerative medicine.

After finishing medical school, and then my internship and residency at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, I came west to UCSF.  After completing my final year of full time clinical work as an infectious diseases fellow, and was then a Sandler Faculty Fellow.  Now, I'm an assistant professor in the microbiology/immunology department.  We are continuing our studies of the genetic and epigenetic circuitry of T cells to learn how CD4+ T-cell subsets develop the highly specialized functions needed for immune homestasis.