Jonathan Kipnis, Ph.D.

BJC Investigator; Alan A. and Edith L. Wolff Distinguished Professor of Pathology and Immunology; Professor of Neurology, Neuroscience and Neurosurgery; Director, Center for Brain Immunology and Glia (BIG); Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

Dr. Jonathan (Jony) Kipnis’s research group focuses on the complex interactions between the immune system and the central nervous system (CNS). The goal is to elucidate the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying these interactions in neurodegenerative, neurodevelopmental, and mental disorders as well as in physiology (including healthy aging).

Kipnis’s research team showed that the brain function is dependent, in part, on the function and integrity of the immune system and that immune molecules (cytokines) can play neuromodulatory roles. The fascination with immunity and its role in neurophysiology is what brought the team to a breakthrough discovery of meningeal lymphatic vessels that drain the CNS into the peripheral lymph nodes and thus serve as a physical connection between the brain and the immune system. This finding challenged the prevailing dogma of CNS being an “immune privileged organ” and opened new avenues to mechanistically study the nature of neuroimmune interactions under physiological and pathological conditions. The implications of this work are broad and range from Autism to Alzheimer’s disease through neuroinflammatory conditions, such as Multiple Sclerosis.

Dr. Kipnis graduated from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, where he was a Sir Charles Clore scholar and a recipient of distinguished prize for scientific achievements awarded by the Israeli Parliament, The Knesset. In 2018 he received a prestigious NIH Director’s Pioneer award to explore in more depth neuro-immune interactions in healthy and diseased brain.

Follow Dr. Kipnis @jonykipnis, his lab @kipnislab and center @BIG_CenterWashU



Funded Research

These projects were made possible from Cure Alzheimer's Fund support.

Selected Publications

These published papers resulted from Cure Alzheimer’s Fund support.

Boskovic, P., Gao, W., & Kipnis, J. Will cellular immunotherapies end neurodegenerative diseases?, Trends in Immunology, April 9, 2024, Read More

Smyth, L. C. D., Xu, D., Okar, S. V., Dykstra, T., Rustenhoven, J., Papadopoulos, Z., … Kipnis, J. Identification of direct connections between the dura and the brain, Nature, February 7, 2024, Read More

Rustenhoven, J., Pavlou, G., Storck, S. E., Dykstra, T., Du, S., Wan, Z., Quintero, D., Scallan, J. P., Smirnov, I., Kamm, R. D., & Kipnis, J. Age-related alterations in meningeal immunity drive impaired CNS lymphatic drainage, Journal of Experimental Medicine, April 7, 2023, Read More

Drieu, A., Du, S., Storck, S. E., Rustenhoven, J., Papadopoulos, Z., Dykstra, T., Zhong, F., Kim, K., Blackburn, S., Mamuladze, T., Harari, O., Karch, C. M., Bateman, R. J., Perrin, R., Farlow, M., Chhatwal, J., Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network, Hu, S., Randolph, G. J., Smirnov, I., … Kipnis, J. Parenchymal border macrophages regulate the flow dynamics of the cerebrospinal fluid, Nature, November 9, 2022, Read More

Louveau, A., Da Mesquita, S., & Kipnis, J. Lymphatics in Neurological Disorders: a neuro-lympho-vascular component of multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease?, Neuron, September 7, 2016, Read More

Ozturk, B., Koundal, S., Al Bizri, E., Chen, X., Gursky, Z. H., Dai, F., Lim, A. S., Heerdt, P., Kipnis, J., Tannenbaum, A., Lee, H., & Benveniste, H. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) increases CSF flow and glymphatic transport, JCI Insight, May 9, 2023, Read More

Mazzitelli, J. A., Pulous, F. E., Smyth, L. C. D., Kaya, Z., Rustenhoven, J., Moskowitz, M. A., Kipnis, J., & Nahrendorf, M. Skull bone marrow channels as immune gateways to the central nervous system, Nature Neuroscience, November 23, 2023, Read More

Da Mesquita, S., Herz, J., Wall, M., Dykstra, T., de Lima, K. A., Norris, G. T., Dabhi, N., Kennedy, T., Baker, W., & Kipnis, J. Aging-associated deficit in CCR7 is linked to worsened glymphatic function, cognition, neuroinflammation, and β-amyloid pathology, Scientific Advances, May 21, 2021, Read More

Da Mesquita, S., Fu, Z., & Kipnis, J. The meningeal lymphatic system: a new player in neurophysiology, Neuron, October 24, 2018, Read More

Mazzitelli, J. A., Smyth, L. C. D., Cross, K. A., Dykstra, T., Sun, J., Du, S., Mamuladze, T., Smirnov, I., Rustenhoven, J., & Kipnis, J. Cerebrospinal fluid regulates skull bone marrow niches via direct access through dural channels, Nature Neuroscience, March 17, 2022, Read More

Da Mesquita, S., Louveau, A., Vaccari, A., Smirnov, I., Cornelison, R. C., Kingsmore, K. M., Contarino, C., Onengut-Gumuscu, S., Farber, E., Raper, D., Viar, K. E., Powell, R. D., Baker, W., Dabhi, N., Bai, R., Cao, R., Hu, S., Rich, S. S., Munson, J. M., Lopes, M. B., … Kipnis, J. Functional aspects of meningeal lymphatics in ageing and Alzheimer’s disease, Nature, July 25, 2018, Read More

Norris, G. T., & Kipnis, J. Immune Cells and CNS physiology: microglia and beyond, Journal of Experimental Medicine, November 30, 2018, Read More

Rustenhoven, J., Tanumihardja, C., & Kipnis, J. Cerebrovascular Anomalies: Perspectives From Immunology and Cerebrospinal Fluid Flow, Circulation Research, June 25, 2021, Read More

Rustenhoven, J., Drieu, A., Mamuladze, T., de Lima, K. A., Dykstra, T., Wall, M., Papadopoulos, Z., Kanamori, M., Salvador, A. F., Baker, W., Lemieux, M., Da Mesquita, S., Cugurra, A., Fitzpatrick, J., Sviben, S., Kossina, R., Bayguinov, P., Townsend, R. R., Zhang, Q., Erdmann-Gilmore, P., … Kipnis, J. Functional characterization of the dural sinuses as a neuroimmune interface, Cell, January 27, 2021, Read More

Chen, X., Firulyova, M., Manis, M., Herz, J., Smirnov, I., Aladyeva, E., Wang, C., Bao, X., Finn, M. B., Hu, H., Shchukina, I., Kim, M. W., Yuede, C. M., Kipnis, J., Artyomov, M. N., Ulrich, J. D., & Holtzman, D. M. Microglia-mediated T cell infiltration drives neurodegeneration in tauopathy, Nature, March 8, 2023, Read More

Da Mesquita, S., Papadopoulos, Z., Dykstra, T., Brase, L., Farias, F. G., Wall, M., Jiang, H., Kodira, C. D., de Lima, K. A., Herz, J., Louveau, A., Goldman, D. H., Salvador, A. F., Onengut-Gumuscu, S., Farber, E., Dabhi, N., Kennedy, T., Milam, M. G., Baker, W., Smirnov, I., Rich, S. S., Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network, Benitez, B. A., Karch, C. M., Perrin, R. J., Farlow, M., Chhatwal, J. P., Holtzman, D. M., Cruchaga, C., Harari, O., & Kipnis, J. Meningeal lymphatics affect microglia responses and anti-Aβ immunotherapy, Nature, April 28, 2021, Read More

Paolicelli, R. C., Sierra, A., Stevens, B., et al. Microglia states and nomenclature: A field at its crossroads, Neuron, November 2, 2022, Read More

Drieu, A., Du, S., Kipnis, M., Bosch, M. E., Herz, J., Lee, C., Jiang, H., Manis, M., Ulrich, J. D., Kipnis, J., Holtzman, D. M., & Gratuze, M. Parenchymal border macrophages regulate tau pathology and tau-mediated neurodegeneration, Life Science Alliance, August 10, 2023, Read More