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Michael Criscitiello

Associate Professor

Curriculum Vitae

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Phone: (979) 845-4207

Mailstop: 4467

Department: VTPB

Photo of Criscitiello, Michael


  • Ph.D. Microbiology and Immunology, University of Miami 2003
  • M.S. Molecular Biology, East Carolina University 1997
  • B.S. Biology, University of North Carolina 1993

Scholarly Interests

My Comparative Immunogenetics Laboratory studies immunology and evolution. Most of our research focuses on the early natural history of the vertebrate adaptive immune system, with particular attention given to the genetics of lymphocyte antigen receptors, mucosal immune mechanisms in the gut, antigen presentation and invertebrate innate immunogenomics. Our goals are bipartite, but related. Our first aim is to understand the evolution of our immune system: its genesis, subsequent natural history, and trajectory into the future. We pursue this using the comparative method focusing on evolutionarily strategic poikilothermic vertebrates (frog and shark) and economically important food species (shrimp, cattle and tuna). This work allows us to distinguish what aspects are phylogenetically fundamental in our own system and differentiate those that are merely accessory. Our second aim is to continue to discover and understand the many diverse tools less-studied organisms have evolved in their defensive batteries, which mouse and man often lack. These novel receptors, mechanisms, domains and tissue architectures will inform better vaccine development, biomedical engineering and clinical intervention for the better health of all animals.


Expression of the inflammatory chemokines CCL2, CCL5 and CXCL2 and the receptors CCR1-3 and CXCR2 in T lymphocytes from mammary tumor-bearing mice.
Owen JL, Criscitiello MF, Libreros S, Garcia-Areas R, Guthrie K, Torroella-Kouri M, Iragavarapu-Charyulu V.
Cell Immunol. 2011 ; 270(2):172-82.
PMID: 21621198 [PubMed - in process]
Quantum dots trigger immunomodulation of the NF?B pathway in human skin cells.
Romoser AA, Chen PL, Berg JM, Seabury C, Ivanov I, Criscitiello MF, Sayes CM.
Mol Immunol. 2011 Jul; 48(12-13):1349-59.
PMID: 21481475 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Emergence of the acute-phase protein hemopexin in jawed vertebrates.
Dooley H, Buckingham EB, Criscitiello MF, Flajnik MF.
Mol Immunol. 2010 Nov; 48(1-3):147-52.
PMID: 20884052 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Evolutionarily conserved TCR binding sites, identification of T cells in primary lymphoid tissues, and surprising trans-rearrangements in nurse shark.
Criscitiello MF, Ohta Y, Saltis M, McKinney EC, Flajnik MF.
J Immunol. 2010 Jun; 184(12):6950-60.
PMID: 20488795 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
The dynamic TCRd: TCRd chains in the amphibian Xenopus tropicalis utilize antibody-like V genes.
Parra ZE, Ohta Y, Criscitiello MF, Flajnik MF, Miller RD.
Eur J Immunol. 2010 Aug; 40(8):2319-29.
PMID: 20486124 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Evolutionarily conserved and divergent regions of the autoimmune regulator (Aire) gene: a comparative analysis.
Saltis M, Criscitiello MF, Ohta Y, Keefe M, Trede NS, Goitsuka R, Flajnik MF.
Immunogenetics. 2008 Feb; 60(2):105-14.
PMID: 18214467 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Four primordial immunoglobulin light chain isotypes, including lambda and kappa, identified in the most primitive living jawed vertebrates.
Criscitiello MF, Flajnik MF.
Eur J Immunol. 2007 Oct; 37(10):2683-94.
PMID: 17899545 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Diverse immunoglobulin light chain organizations in fish retain potential to revise B cell receptor specificities.
Hsu E, Criscitiello MF.
J Immunol. 2006 Aug; 177(4):2452-62.
PMID: 16888007 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
An evolutionarily mobile antigen receptor variable region gene: doubly rearranging NAR-TcR genes in sharks.
Criscitiello MF, Saltis M, Flajnik MF.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Mar; 103(13):5036-41.
PMID: 16549799 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Allelic polymorphism of TCRalpha chain constant domain genes in the bicolor damselfish.
Criscitiello MF, Kamper SM, McKinney EC.
Dev Comp Immunol. 2004 Jun; 28(7-8):781-92.
PMID: 15043946 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Allelic polymorphism of T-cell receptor constant domains is widespread in fishes.
Criscitiello MF, Wermenstam NE, Pilström L, McKinney EC.
Immunogenetics. 2004 Mar; 55(12):818-24.
PMID: 14985877 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Proteasome, transporter associated with antigen processing, and class I genes in the nurse shark Ginglymostoma cirratum: evidence for a stable class I region and MHC haplotype lineages.
Ohta Y, McKinney EC, Criscitiello MF, Flajnik MF.
J Immunol. 2002 Jan; 168(2):771-81.
PMID: 11777971 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Beta 2-microglobulin of ictalurid catfishes.
Criscitiello MF, Benedetto R, Antao A, Wilson MR, Chinchar VG, Miller NW, Clem LW, McConnell TJ.
Immunogenetics. 1998 Oct; 48(5):339-43.
PMID: 9745011 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]