Rachael P. Jackman, PHD

Assistant Investigator


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Rachael Jackman is an Assistant Investigator at Vitalant Research Institute (VRI), working in the field of transfusion immunology. Dr. Jackman did her undergraduate work at the University of California, Berkeley in molecular and cell biology, and her Ph.D. at Yale University in immunobiology with Dr. Kim Bottomly, focusing on the role of costimulatory and inhibitory molecules in regulating interactions between T-helper cells and antigen presenting cells. She did her postdoctoral training at VRI (then Blood Systems Research Institute) in transfusion immunology focusing on the immunomodulatory effects of transfusion and trauma, including alloimmunization. 

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Rachael Jackman, PhD
270 Masonic Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94118
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Phone: (415) 923-5771 ext. 714
Fax: (415) 775-3859

  • Assistant Investigator, Vitalant Research Institute, San Francisco, CA
  • B.S., Molecular and Cell Biology, Emphasis in Immunology, University of California, Berkeley
  • M.S., Immunobiology, Yale University
  • Ph.D., Immunobiology, Yale University
  • Post Doctoral Associate, Immunobiology, Yale University
  • Post Doctoral Research Fellow, BSRI/University of California, San Francisco
  • Staff Scientist, BSRI
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John Heitman
Research Associate III

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Johnson Tran, PhD
Post Doctoral Fellow

Research Interests


Our long-term research goals are to improve our understanding of the wide range of immune consequences to allogeneic exposure and to identify methods to modulate these responses to protect against alloimmunization and rejection. Through the use of our novel transfusion models alongside clinical samples from a range of alloexposure patients, our goal is to identify the mechanisms involved in regulating the alloresponse, evaluate protective approaches, and determine how these responses may vary in different types of patients.

  • Alloimmunization and Tolerance

    Exposure to alloantigens as a result of transfusion, transplant, or pregnancy can result in an immune response to these foreign antigens. This alloimmunization can cause harm, limiting the ability of the recipient to tolerate future transfusions or other transplants of solid organs or stem cells. Our work is focused on the response to allogeneic MHC, how this response is regulated, consequences for alloimmunized individuals, and how alloimmunization can be prevented and/or manipulated to induce tolerance.

  • Immunology of Trauma and Transfusion

    Both transfusion and traumatic injury have been shown to have strong effects on the immune system. Trauma patients have been shown to be either immunosuppressed or hyperactivated, making them vulnerable to serious immune sequelae such as sepsis and multiorgan failure. Transfusion has been shown to be either immunosuppressive or activating in different settings. Our goals are to characterize the impact of transfusion, blood loss, and injury on immune dysregulation and to understand what drives it.