Prof. Michael Ratcliffe

Dean of Arts and Vice-Provost, Faculty of Arts at Trinity College; TRN225Y1 The Art of Health Science Discovery
Fellow of the College
Professor, Dept. of Immunology, U of T
Gerald Larkin Building: 15 Devonshire Pl, Room 329
Tel: 416-978-2129  ext. 82129

BSc (Biochemistry), University of Glasgow, 1976

PhD (Immunology), University College London, 1980

Teaching Area:
I teach Immunology in a range of courses offered by the Department of Immunology, including the Introductory Immunology courses IMM334Y and IMM335Y.

Research Interests:
My research focusses on the development of B lymphocytes, the cells responsible for generating the antibody responses required for protection against pathogens. We use the developing chick embryo as a model system as B cell development in birds occurs in a discrete organ, the bursa of Fabricius. We use retrovirally mediated gene transfer to introduce genes of interest into developing hematopoietic precursors and assess the influence of these genes on the development of B cells.

1. Sayegh, C.E., Demaries, S.L., Iacampo, S. and Ratcliffe, M.J.H. Development of B cells expressing surface immunoglobulin molecules that lack V(D)J-encoded determinants in the avian bursa of Fabricius. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 96: 10806-10811 (1999).
2. Sayegh, C.E., Drury, G. and Ratcliffe, M.J.H. Efficient antibody diversification by gene conversion in vivo in the absence of selection for V(D)J-encoded determinants. EMBO J. 18: 6310-6328 (1999).
3. Sayegh, C.E., Demaries, S.L., Pike, K.A., Friedmann, J.E. and Ratcliffe, M.J.H. The chicken B-cell receptor complex and its role in avian B-cell development. Immunol. Rev. 175: 187-200 (2000).
4. Pike, K.A. and Ratcliffe, M.J.H. Cell surface immunoglobulin receptors in B cell development. Semin. Immunol. 2002. 14: 351-358.
5. Pike, K.A., Baig, E. and Ratcliffe, M.J.H. Distinct roles for Ig and Igin chicken B cell development. Immunol. Rev. 2004. 197: 10-15.
6. Pike, K.A., Iacampo, S., Friedmann, J.E. and Ratcliffe, M.J.H. The cytoplasmic domain of Ig is necessary and sufficient to support efficient early B cell development. J. Immunol. 2004. 172: 2210-2218.
7. Pike, K.A. and Ratcliffe, M.J.H. Dual requirement for the Ig immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif (ITAM) and a conserved non-IgITAM tyrosine in supporting Ig-mediated B cell development. J. Immunol. 2005. 174: 2012-2020.
8. Ratcliffe, M.J.H. Antibodies, immunoglobulin genes and the bursa of Fabricius in chicken B cell development. Dev. Comp. Immunol. 2006. 30: 101-118.
9. Kothlow, S., Schenk-Weibhauser, K., Ratcliffe, M.J.H. and Kaspers, B. The RCAS retroviral gene transfer technology: an efficient system for functional in vivo studies with soluble proteins in the chicken. Mol. Immunol.2010. 47: 1619-1628.
10. Ratcliffe, M.J.H. and Hartle, S. B cells, the bursa of Fabricius and the generation of antibody repertoires. In Avian Immunology 2nd Edition, Schat, K.A., Kaspers, B. and Kaiser, P. (Eds.) Elsevier Ltd. 2013. pp65-89.

Awards, Affiliations, Personal Interests, etc.:
I was recruited from McGill University to the University of Toronto in 2001 as Chair of the Department of Immunology in the Faculty of Medicine. Since Immunology is one of the programs affiliated with Trinity College, I became associated with Trinity at that time and when I completed my time as Chair of Immunology, I took the position of Dean of Arts and Vice-Provost of Trinity College, while maintaining my affiliation with the Department of Immunology.
Outside of the University environment, my interests are sports, especially soccer, music, travel and reading, when I get the chance.

Michael Ratcliffe