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David Leitenberg David Leitenberg
Associate Professor of Microbiology, Immunology, and Tropical Medicine
Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Secondary)

Office Phone: 202-994-9475
Email: Email
Department: Microbiology, Immunology, and Tropical Medicine


  • BA, University of Vermont, 1983
  • MD, University of Iowa, 1990
  • PhD, University of Iowa, 1990


Dr. Leitenberg earned his B.A. in Zoology at the University of Vermont, and his MD and PhD in Immunology at the University of Iowa. He completed his residency in Laboratory Medicine at Yale New Haven Hospital, and his postdoctoral training in Immunobiology at Yale University. Dr. Leitenberg also serves as Director of Immunology in the Department of Laboratory Medicine at Children's National Medical Center. He is currently  associate professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Tropical Medicine and has joint academic appointments as associate progessor in the Departments of Pathology and Pediatrics at GW. 


Director, Ph.D program, Microbiology and Immunology. Course director, Medical Immunology Course


Dr. Leitenberg research focus is on the regulation of cell fate decisions in T lymphocytes. Understanding the factors that regulate lymphocyte survival and development into functionally distinct subsets is critical for the rational design of therapeutic strategies to enhance protective immune responses to infectious diseases and tumors, as well as to ameliorate harmful immune responses in autoimmune and inflammatory disorders. Dr. Leitenberg's work is broadly based on the hypothesis that signal transduction events that regulate cell fate decisions are developmentally regulated and modulated by the tissue microenvironment. Current projects involve the roles of the CD45 protein tyrosine phosphatase and the CD4-associated src family tyrosine kinase, Lck, in selectively regulating specific signal transduction events that affect cell development and immune response in vivo. 


View publications by this faculty member.

Falahati, R., E. Mari, A. Jales, E.J. Stemy, W. Shen, C. Southammokasone, D. Herzog, S. Ladisch, D. Leitenberg. 2011. Ganglioside-treated dendritic cells inhibit T cell effector function by promoting regulatory T cell activity. Immunology. 132:134-43.

Tinsley, K.T., Herzog, D., D. Leitenberg. 2010. CD4 co-receptor dependent signaling promotes competency for re-stimulation induced cell death of effector T cells. Cell. Immunol. 266:200-7.

Falahati, R., and D. Leitenberg. 2008. Selective Regulation of TCR Signaling Pathways in Primary Thymocytes by the CD45 tyrosine phosphatase. J. Immunol. 181: 6082-6091.

Leitenberg, D., Falahati, R., Lu, D., and Takeda, A. 2007. CD45-associated protein regulates the response to low-potency T cell stimulation and promotes CD45 association with CD3/TCR and lck. Immunology. 121:545-54

Falahati, R., and D. Leitenberg. 2007. Changes in the role of the CD45 Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase in Regulating of Lck Tyrosine Phosphorylation During Thymic Development. J. Immunol. 178:2056-2064

Tatari, Z, Brogdon, J.L., Tinsley, K., Ramezani, A., and D. Leitenberg. 2005. CD4-dependent signaling is required for a late checkpoint during Th2 development associated with resistance to activation-induced cell death. J. Immunol. 175:5629-36

Brogdon, J., D. Leitenberg, and K. Bottomly. 2002. The Potency of TCR Signaling Differentially Regulates NFATc/p Activity and Early IL-4 Transcription in Naive CD4(+) T Cells. J Immunol. 168:3825-32.

Leitenberg, D., F. Balamuth, and K. Bottomly. 2001. Changes in the T cell receptor macromolecular signaling complex and membrane microdomains during T cell development and activation. Seminars in Immunology. 13:129-38

Leitenberg, D. and K. Bottomly. 1999. Regulation of naive T cell differentiation by varying the potency of TCR signal transduction. Seminars in Immunology. 11:283-292.

Leitenberg, D., Y. Boutin, D. Lu, and K. Bottomly. 1999. Specific biochemical association of CD45 with the T cell receptor: regulation by CD45 isoform and during T cell activation. Immunity. 10:701-711.

Industry Relationships and Collaborations

This faculty member (or a member of their immediate family) has reported a financial interest with the health care related companies listed below. These relations have been reported to the University and, when appropriate, management plans are in place to address potential conflicts.

  • None