Rolf König, Ph.D. (2011)
Professor (School of Medicine)
Microbiology and Immunology
Rolf König, Ph.D. is a Senior Scientist in the Sealy Center for Molecular Medicine, a Scientist in the Sealy Center for Vaccine Development, and also a member of the Institute for Human Infections & Immunity and the NIEHS Center in Environmental Toxicology at UTMB. In the Center in Environmental Toxicology, he serves as coordinator for the Collaborative Research Teams and as director for Graduate & Health Professions Education. In the Department of Microbiology & Immunology, he also serves as director for the UTMB-wide Tissue Culture Core Facility. He received his undergraduate and graduate education at the University of Bern in Switzerland, where he graduated with a M.S. (title of thesis: Physiological investigation on the juvenile hormone-induced development of soldiers in the termite Zootermopsis) and Ph.D. (title of dissertation: Vitellogenin and vitellin in the cockroach Nauphoeta cinerea - physico-chemical characterization and demonstration of the specific binding of vitellogenin to receptors on the oocyte membrane) in Biology. He pursued research in insect biochemistry and physiology for an additional two years at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and at the University of Bern. In 1987, he joined the NIDDK’s Laboratory of Biochemistry & Metabolism as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Gilbert Ashwell, where he investigated the role of glycosylation in intracellular trafficking of CD4. In 1989, he moved to NIAID’s Laboratory of Immunology, where he researched structure-function relationships regulating CD4-MHC class II interactions in Dr. Ronald Germain’s lab. In 1993, he joined the faculty at UTMB. His original research efforts at UTMB focused on intracellular signaling pathways in T lymphocytes, and immunomodulation in vivo.
In collaborative efforts with faculty in several departments, he currently focuses on early changes in the transcriptome following exposure to environmental halogenated alkenes, and the potential of these gene expression patterns as biomarkers for chronic inflammation and autoimmunity.
In the School of Medicine, he serves as co-director for the second-year course in dermatology, musculoskeletal diseases, and hematology (DHM) and as director for the longitudinal theme in evidence-based medicine. He was an Associate Editor for the Journal of Immunology and currently serves on the editorial boards of World Journal of Vaccines and ISRN Toxicology. In 2010, he had the honor to serve as Faculty Marshall during the School of Medicine commencement.