Paula B Kavathas, PhD

Professor of Laboratory Medicine, of Immunobiology and of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology; Associate Chair for Research; Director, Science Education Outreach Program; Chair, Women's Faculty Forum

Departments & Organizations

Laboratory Medicine

Immunobiology: HTI

Faculty Research

Immunology and Immunotherapy

Rheumatic Diseases Research Core

Status of Women in Medicine Committee (SWIM)

Yale Cancer Center: Cancer Immunology

Yale Combined Program in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS): Immunology: Infectious Disease and Host-Pathogen Interaction; Mounting an Immune Response

Office of Cooperative Research


Dr. Kavathas graduated with a B.A. in American Institutions, from the University of Wisconsin, writing her thesis on the role of Science in America in the 1960s. She obtained her Ph.D. in Genetics from the Department of Genetics, founded in 1921 as the first Genetics Department in the country. At Wisconsin with Dr. Robert DeMars on genetic analysis of the MHC region. As a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University with Dr. Leonard Herzenberg she developed a novel approach for cloning genes for cell surface proteins using the fluorescence activated cell sorter (FACS).

At Yale she continued her studies on CD8 and recently has focused on the functional relevance of four isoforms of the CD8b protein that exist in humans and great apes but not mice. They are differentially expressed in naive T cells, activated T cells, and memory T cells. Signal transduction by the isoforms is different given that they differ only in their cytoplasmic tail. The clinical relevance of these isoforms for adoptive immunotherapy with T cells is one focus of the lab.

Education & Training

PhD University of Wisconsin-Madison (1980)
BA University of Wisconsin-Madison (1972)

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Contact Info

Paula B Kavathas, PhD
Lab Location
kavathasThe Anlyan Center
300 Cedar Street, Ste S540

New Haven, CT 06519
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Mailing Address
Laboratory MedicinePO Box 208035
333 Cedar Street

New Haven, CT 06520-8035