Robert B. Vernon, PhD

Research Associate Member; Manager, Histology/Imaging Core
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Background Information

Dr. Vernon received his bachelor’s degree in Biology/Zoology from the University of Washington, magna cum laude, in 1977 and received his PhD in Cell Biology from the University of Washington in 1985. He was a postdoctoral fellow and, later, a faculty member in the Department of Biological Structure at the University of Washington School of Medicine from 1985-1999. Subsequently, he joined the Hope Heart Institute in Seattle and, in 2004, became a Research Associate Member at the Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason.

Area of Research

Extracellular matrix (ECM) is the complex substance outside of cells that provides structural support to tissues and organs. In addition, specific ECM molecules provide signals that influence cell behavior in health and disease. Dr. Vernon’s laboratory focuses on understanding how ECM regulates the behaviors of T cells and antigen-presenting cells (APCs) of the immune system. Typically, ECM is thought to be a product of structurally-supportive cell types, such as fibroblasts, osteoblasts and smooth muscle cells; however, recent work by a number of laboratories, including the Vernon Lab, has shown that a variety of ECM molecules are produced by T cells and APCs. The functions of these immune cell-derived ECM molecules are largely unknown, and characterizing their influence over immune cell behavior is a major focus of the Vernon Lab.

Dr. Vernon's CV

Vernon Laboratory

Histology/Imaging Core Laboratory

Matrix Biology Program