Rita Effros, Ph.D.

A Short Biography:

Rita B. Effros, Professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, directs research programs in the areas of aging and HIV disease, with emphasis on immunity to infection. She is also active in undergraduate education at UCLA, teaching one of the Interdisciplinary Cluster courses, entitled, Frontiers of Human Aging: Biomedical, Psychosocial and Policy Perspectives.

Work Titles
UCLA Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Member, Tumor Immunology Program at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC) Faculty, Cellular and Molecular Pathology PhD Program
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 1978
B.A., Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, 1959 - 1963
Academic Experience:
1980 - 1981 University of California, Los Angeles, Immunology
1978 - 1979 Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, PA, Immunlogy
Honors and Awards:
Gerontological Society of America

Contact Information:

Work Phone Number:

(310) 825-0748

Laboratory Address:

10833 Le Conte Ave.
CHS 18-111
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Office Address:

10833 Le Conte Ave.
1P-245 CHS
CAMPUS - 173216
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Work Address:

10833 Le Conte Ave.
CHS 13-344
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Detailed Biography:

Rita B. Effros is an immunologist who has been at the UCLA School of Medicine since 1979. She began as a Post-doctoral Fellow in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology, and then joined the Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, where she became a full professor in 1992. Dr. Effros earned her B.A. in Biology from Brandeis University, and her Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Pennsylvania, under the mentorship of Peter Doherty, 1996 Nobel Laureate. Her thesis work on immunity to viruses continues to be her research focus, with special emphasis on telomeres, the regions at the ends of chromosomes which shorten during cell division. Her laboratory discovered that during both aging and HIV disease, many immune cells have critically short telomeres, as well as increased production of pro-inflammatory factors and reduced ability to control viral infections. Her research paves the way for certain types of immunotherapy that would prevent telomere shortening. Her awards include the UCLA Woman of Science Prize, the Plott Endowed Chair in Gerontology, and the prestigious Kleemeier Award by the Gerontological Society of America. In addition to teaching medical and graduate students, she has been a major force in UCLA undergraduate education, having established an interdisciplinary Freshman Honors course on human aging. She has served on numerous university committees, most recently on the Council for Academic Personnel.She is the 2015 President of the Gerontological Society of America, the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging.


A selected list of publications:

Unemori Patrick A, Leslie Kieron S, Hunt Peter W, Sinclair Elizabeth, Epling Lorrie, Mitsuyasu Ronald, Effros Rita B, Dock Jeffrey, Dollard Sheila G, Deeks Steven G, Martin Jeffrey N, Maurer Toby S   Immunosenescence is associated with presence of Kaposi's sarcoma in antiretroviral treated human immunodeficiency virus infection AIDS (London, England), 2013; .
Chou Jennifer P, Effros Rita B   T cell replicative senescence in human aging Current pharmaceutical design, 2013; 19(9): 1680-98.
Effros Rita B   Editorial: T cell memory, bone marrow, and aging: the good news Journal of leukocyte biology, 2012; 91(2): 185-7.
High Kevin P, Brennan-Ing Mark, Clifford David B, Cohen Mardge H, Currier Judith, Deeks Steven G, Deren Sherry, Effros Rita B, Gebo Kelly, Goronzy Jörg J, Justice Amy C, Landay Alan, Levin Jules, Miotti Paolo G, Munk Robert J, Nass Heidi, Rinaldo Charles R, Shlipak Michael G, Tracy Russell, Valcour Victor, Vance David E, Walston Jeremy D, Volberding Paul, Volberding Paul   HIV and aging: state of knowledge and areas of critical need for research. A report to the NIH Office of AIDS Research by the HIV and Aging Working Group Journal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes (1999), 2012; 60 Suppl 1(2): S1-18.
Watson Melanie B, Richter Franziska, Lee Soo Kyung, Gabby Lauryn, Wu Jennifer, Masliah Eliezer, Effros Rita B, Chesselet Marie-Françoise   Regionally-specific microglial activation in young mice over-expressing human wildtype alpha-synuclein Experimental neurology, 2012; 237(2): 318-34.
Dock Jeffrey N, Effros Rita B   Role of CD8 T Cell Replicative Senescence in Human Aging and in HIV-mediated Immunosenescence Aging and disease, 2011; 2(5): 382-397.
Effros Rita B   Telomere/telomerase dynamics within the human immune system: effect of chronic infection and stress Experimental gerontology, 2011; 46(2-3): 135-40.
Rickabaugh Tammy M, Kilpatrick Ryan D, Hultin Lance E, Hultin Patricia M, Hausner Mary Ann, Sugar Catherine A, Althoff Keri N, Margolick Joseph B, Rinaldo Charles R, Detels Roger, Phair John, Effros Rita B, Jamieson Beth D   The dual impact of HIV-1 infection and aging on naïve CD4 T-cells: additive and distinct patterns of impairment PloS one, 2011; 6(1): e16459.
Parish Stanley T, Kim Sarah, Sekhon Rekha K, Wu Jennifer E, Kawakatsu Yukako, Effros Rita B   Adenosine deaminase modulation of telomerase activity and replicative senescence in human CD8 T lymphocytes Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950), 2010; 184(6): 2847-54.
Graham Lucia S, Tintut Yin, Parhami Farhad, Kitchen Christina M R, Ivanov Yevgeniv, Tetradis Sotirios, Effros Rita B   Bone density and hyperlipidemia: the T-lymphocyte connection Journal of bone and mineral research : the official journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, 2010; 25(11): 2460-9.
Tseng Wendy, Graham Lucia S, Geng Yifan, Reddy Aneela, Lu Jinxiu, Effros Rita B, Demer Linda, Tintut Yin   PKA-induced receptor activator of NF-kappaB ligand (RANKL) expression in vascular cells mediates osteoclastogenesis but not matrix calcification The Journal of biological chemistry, 2010; 285(39): 29925-31.
Parish Stanley T, Wu Jennifer E, Effros Rita B   Sustained CD28 expression delays multiple features of replicative senescence in human CD8 T lymphocytes Journal of clinical immunology, 2010; 30(6): 798-805.
McElhaney Janet E, Effros Rita B   Immunosenescence: what does it mean to health outcomes in older adults? Current opinion in immunology, 2009; 21(4): 418-24.
Effros Rita B   Kleemeier Award Lecture 2008--the canary in the coal mine: telomeres and human healthspan The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences, 2009; 64(5): 511-5.
Parish Stanley T, Wu Jennifer E, Effros Rita B   Modulation of T lymphocyte replicative senescence via TNF-{alpha} inhibition: role of caspase-3 Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950), 2009; 182(7): 4237-43.
Graham Lucia S, Parhami Farhad, Tintut Yin, Kitchen Christina M R, Demer Linda L, Effros Rita B   Oxidized lipids enhance RANKL production by T lymphocytes: implications for lipid-induced bone loss Clinical immunology (Orlando, Fla.), 2009; 133(2): 265-75.
Cao Weiwei, Jamieson Beth D, Hultin Lance E, Hultin Patricia M, Effros Rita B, Detels Roger   Premature aging of T cells is associated with faster HIV-1 disease progression Journal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes (1999), 2009; 50(2): 137-47.
Effros, RB   The canary in the coal mine: telomeres and human healthspan, J. Gerontol. Biol Sci Med Sci, 2009; 64 (5): 511-515.
Effros R.B.   The immunological theory of aging revisited, Handbook of Theories of Aging, , Bengstrom, ed.,, 2009; .
Chen Wilbur H, Kozlovsky Bernard F, Effros Rita B, Grubeck-Loebenstein Beatrix, Edelman Robert, Sztein Marcelo B   Vaccination in the elderly: an immunological perspective Trends in immunology, 2009; 30(7): 351-9.
Effros Rita B, Fletcher Courtney V, Gebo Kelly, Halter Jeffrey B, Hazzard William R, Horne Frances McFarland, Huebner Robin E, Janoff Edward N, Justice Amy C, Kuritzkes Daniel, Nayfield Susan G, Plaeger Susan F, Schmader Kenneth E, Ashworth John R, Campanelli Christine, Clayton Charles P, Rada Beth, Woolard Nancy F, High Kevin P   Aging and infectious diseases: workshop on HIV infection and aging: what is known and future research directions Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, 2008; 47(4): 542-53.
Damron-Rodriguez JoAnn, Effros Rita   Innovations in student-centered interdisciplinary teaching for general education in aging Gerontology & geriatrics education, 2008; 29(3): 270-89.
Choi Jenny, Fauce Steven R, Effros Rita B   Reduced telomerase activity in human T lymphocytes exposed to cortisol Brain, behavior, and immunity, 2008; 22(4): 600-5.
Fauce Steven Russell, Jamieson Beth D, Chin Allison C, Mitsuyasu Ronald T, Parish Stan T, Ng Hwee L, Kitchen Christina M Ramirez, Yang Otto O, Harley Calvin B, Effros Rita B   Telomerase-based pharmacologic enhancement of antiviral function of human CD8+ T lymphocytes Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950), 2008; 181(10): 7400-6.
Effros Rita B, Austad Steven, Blau Helen, Chesselet Marie-Francoise, Ingram Donald, Johnson Thomas E, Kaeberlein Matt, Lundblad Vicki, McCarter Roger, McElhaney Janet, Saag Michael   The biological sciences section program at the 60th Annual Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences, 2008; 63(4): 331-7.
Fauce Steven R, Yang Otto O, Effros Rita B   Autologous CD4/CD8 co-culture assay: a physiologically-relevant composite measure of CD8+ T lymphocyte function in HIV-infected persons Journal of immunological methods, 2007; 327(1-2): 75-81.
Aspinall Richard, Del Giudice Giuseppe, Effros Rita B, Grubeck-Loebenstein Beatrix, Sambhara Suryaprakash   Challenges for vaccination in the elderly Immunity & ageing : I & A, 2007; 4(2): 9.
Effros Rita B   Role of T lymphocyte replicative senescence in vaccine efficacy Vaccine, 2007; 25(4): 599-604.
Effros Rita B   Telomerase induction in T cells: a cure for aging and disease? Experimental gerontology, 2007; 42(5): 416-20.
Yang Otto O, Lin Holly, Dagarag Mirabelle, Ng Hwee L, Effros Rita B, Uittenbogaart Christel H   Decreased perforin and granzyme B expression in senescent HIV-1-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes Virology, 2005; 332(1): 16-9.
Effros Rita B   Roy Walford and the immunologic theory of aging Immunity & ageing : I & A, 2005; 2(1): 7.
Effros Rita B   The role of CD8 T cell replicative senescence in human aging Discovery medicine, 2005; 5(27): 293-7.
Effros Rita B, Dagarag Mirabelle, Spaulding Carolyn, Man Janice   The role of CD8+ T-cell replicative senescence in human aging Immunological reviews, 2005; 205(27): 147-57.
Krichevsky Svetlana, Pawelec Graham, Gural Alexander, Effros Rita B, Globerson Amiela, Yehuda Dina Ben, Yehuda Arie Ben   Age related microsatellite instability in T cells from healthy individuals Experimental gerontology, 2004; 39(4): 507-15.
Effros Rita B   From Hayflick to Walford: the role of T cell replicative senescence in human aging Experimental gerontology, 2004; 39(6): 885-90.
Dagarag Mirabelle, Evazyan Tandik, Rao Nagesh, Effros Rita B   Genetic manipulation of telomerase in HIV-specific CD8+ T cells: enhanced antiviral functions accompany the increased proliferative potential and telomere length stabilization Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950), 2004; 173(10): 6303-11.
Effros Rita B   Impact of the Hayflick Limit on T cell responses to infection: lessons from aging and HIV disease Mechanisms of ageing and development, 2004; 125(2): 103-6.
Effros Rita B, Dagarag Mirabelle, Valenzuela Hector F   In vitro senescence of immune cells Experimental gerontology, 2004; 38(11-12): 1243-9.
Pawelec Graham, Akbar Arne, Caruso Calogero, Effros Rita, Grubeck-Loebenstein Beatrix, Wikby Anders   Is immunosenescence infectious? Trends in immunology, 2004; 25(8): 406-10.
Effros Rita B   Replicative senescence of CD8 T cells: effect on human ageing Experimental gerontology, 2004; 39(4): 517-24.
Effros Rita B   Replicative senescence of CD8 T cells: potential effects on cancer immune surveillance and immunotherapy Cancer immunology, immunotherapy : CII, 2004; 53(10): 925-33.
Effros Rita B   T cell replicative senescence: pleiotropic effects on human aging Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 2004; 1019(8): 123-6.
Effros Rita B, Cai Zeling, Linton Phyllis-Jean   CD8 T cells and aging Critical reviews in immunology, 2003; 23(1-2): 45-64.
Dagarag Mirabelle, Ng Hwee, Lubong Rachel, Effros Rita B, Yang Otto O   Differential impairment of lytic and cytokine functions in senescent human immunodeficiency virus type 1-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes Journal of virology, 2003; 77(5): 3077-83.
Dagarag MD, Ng H, Effros RB, Yang OO   Functional impact of telomerase transduction on HIV-1 specific memory T cells, Journal of Virology, 2003; 77: 3077-3083.
Effros Rita B   Genetic alterations in the ageing immune system: impact on infection and cancer Mechanisms of ageing and development, 2003; 124(1): 71-7.
Effros RB, Dagarag M, Valenzuela HF   In vitro senescence of immune cells Exp Gerontol, 2003; 38(11-12): 1243-9.
Effros Rita B   Problems and solutions to the development of vaccines in the elderly Immunology and allergy clinics of North America, 2003; 23(1): 41-55.
Effros Rita B   Replicative senescence: the final stage of memory T cell differentiation? Current HIV research, 2003; 1(2): 153-65.
Panossian LA, Porter VR, Valenzuela HF, Zhu, X, Reback E, Masterman D, Cummings JL, Effros RB   Telomere shortening in T cells correlates with Alzheimer's disease status Neurobiol Aging, 2003; 24(1): 77-84.
Slaughter Ndaisha, Laux Isett, Tu Xiaolin, Whitelegge Julian, Zhu Xiaoming, Effros Rita, Bickel Perry, Nel Andre   The flotillins are integral membrane proteins in lipid rafts that contain TCR-associated signaling components: implications for T-cell activation Clinical immunology (Orlando, Fla.), 2003; 108(2): 138-51.
Valenzuela Hector F, Effros Rita B   Divergent telomerase and CD28 expression patterns in human CD4 and CD8 T cells following repeated encounters with the same antigenic stimulus Clinical immunology (Orlando, Fla.), 2002; 105(2): 117-25.
Effros Rita B, Globerson Amiela   Hematopoietic cells and replicative senescence Experimental gerontology, 2002; 37(2-3): 191-6.
Schmid Ingrid, Dagarag Mirabelle D, Hausner Mary Ann, Matud Jose L, Just Tom, Effros Rita B, Jamieson Beth D   Simultaneous flow cytometric analysis of two cell surface markers, telomere length, and DNA content Cytometry, 2002; 49(3): 96-105.
Effros RB   Telomeres and HIV disease, Microbes and Infection, 2002; 2: 69-76.
Spaulding C, Guo W, Effros RB   Resistance to apoptosis in human CD8+ T cells that reach replicative senescence after multiple rounds of antigen-specific proliferation Experimental gerontology. , 1999; 34(5): 633-44.
Valenzuela HF, Effros RB   Telomeres and replicative senescence, Methods in Molecular Medicine: Aging Methods and Protocols, 1999; .
Boucher N, Dufeu-Duchesne T, Vicaut E, Farge D, Effros RB, Schachter F   CD28 expression in T cell aging and longevity, Exp. Gerontol, 1998; 33: 267-282.
Effros RB   Replicative senescence in the immune system, Am J. Hum Gen, 1998; 62: 1003-1007.
Effros RB, Pawelec G   Replicative senescence of T cells: does the Hayflick Limit lead to immune exhaustion? Immunology today. , 1997; 18(9): 450-4.
Spaulding CC, Walford RL, Effros RB   The accumulation of non-replicative, non-functional, senescent T cells with age is avoided in calorically restricted mice by an enhancement of T cell apoptosis Mechanisms of ageing and development. , 1997; 93(1-3): 25-33.
Effros RB, Allsopp R, Chiu CP, Hausner MA, Hirji K, Wang L, Harley CB, Villeponteau B, West MD, Giorgi JV   Shortened telomeres in the expanded CD28-CD8+ cell subset in HIV disease implicate replicative senescence in HIV pathogenesis AIDS (London, England) , 1996; 10(8): F17-22.

Does this profile need updating? Contact Us