Office Location 
Science Hall 258
Mailing Address 
2083 Lawrenceville Road , Lawrenceville, NJ 08648

James Riggs

B.S., Delaware Valley College, M.S.and Ph.D., University of Massachusetts. His interests include immunology, aging, and microbiology. Dr. Riggs was the recipient of the 1993 Dominick Iorio Faculty Research Excellence Award, the 2008 Ann Giovanelli Award, the 2010 Distinguished Teaching Award, & the 2013 Dominick Iorio Faculty Research Award.


  • 2011, Visiting Scientist, Oral Biofilm Microbiology, The Forsyth Institute, Cambridge, MA
  • 2005, Visiting Scientist, Immunology, Bristol Myers Squibb
  • 1997 Visiting Associate Research Scientist, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
  • 1988-91 NIH Postdoctoral Fellow , Medical Biology Institute, La Jolla, CA
  • 1988 Ph.D., Immunology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA
  • 1985 M.S., Microbiology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
  • 1982 BS, Biology, Delaware Valley College, Doylestown, PA

Research Interests

Our laboratory studies the regulation of lymphocyte activation. We employ both in vitro (cell culture) and in vivo (transplantation with mouse models) methods in our studies. Our current research focuses upon attempts to reproduce the immunology of the tumor microenviroment in vitro. Many tumors have all of the necessary immunological components for an immune response. However, these cells, while in the tumor, remain "shut off" or suppressed. We can reproduce these conditions in vitro and have developed a screening system for tests of relieving this suppression. The students working in the lab are investigating the immunobiology of this suppression and ways to turn the immune cells back "on". Students present their research at regional and national meetings and gain valuable experience that has led to their placement in graduate and medical schools and the pharmaceutical industry.

Research Funding

  • NIH AREA "Erythropoietin Increases Immune Suppression", March, 2014 - February, 2018.
  • NIH AREA "Macrophage Density Regulates T Cells" April, 2009-December 2012.
  • NIH AREA "Immunoregulation in the Peritoneal Cavity" April, 2005-March, 2009.
  • NIH AREA "Immunosenescence in TCR-Transgenic Bone Marrow Chimeras" September, 2001- February, 2005.
  • NIH, NCI, "Research Supplements for Underrepresented Minorities" January- December, 1999.
  • NIH AREA "Aging, Immunodeficiency, and Superantigens in B Cell Lymphomagenesis" August, 1998 - July, 2001.
  • NIH AREA "Reconstruction of Superantigen-Tolerant Immunity" June, 1995 - May, 1997.
  • NIH AREA "T Cell Tolerance Induced by B Cells in the Neonate" June, 1992- May, 1995.
  • NJCCR "Role of Chronic Stimulation in B Cell Lymphomagenesis" July, 1992- June, 1994.

Undergraduate Courses Taught

  • Life Science: Human Disease (BIO-106)
  • Life Science: Human Aging (BIO-108)
  • Cell and Molecular Biology and Lab (BIO-117)
  • The Pharmaceutical Industry (BIO-206)
  • Medical Microbiology and Lab (BIO-315)
  • Immunology and Lab (BIO-370)
  • Seminar in Cell & Molecular Biology (BIO-400)
  • Principles of Biology I (BIO-115)

Corporate Instruction Experience

  • Overview of Immunology including Neuroinflammation (Wyeth Research)
  • Immunology of Costimulation (combined on-site and distance learning; Bristol-Myers Squibb)
  • Cell Biology: Cell Membrane Emphasis (with Jonathan Karp, Ph.D.; Bristol-Myers Squibb)
  • Short and Long Courses in Immunology (Bristol-Myers Squibb, Lawrenceville & Hopewell)
  • Biology of Human Aging (Bristol-Myers Squibb, Hopewell)
  • Immuno-Oncology Course, (Bristol-Myers Squibb, Lawrenceville)

Selected Publications

  • Goldman, N., Valiuskyte, K., Londregan, J., Swider, A., Somerville, J., Riggs, J. Macrophage regulation of B cell proliferation. 2017. Cellular Immunology, 314:54.
  • Wood, M.A., Goldman, N., DePierri, K., Somerville, J., Riggs, J. EPO increases macrophage-mediated T cell suppression. 2016. Cellular Immunology, 306:17.
  • Cugini, C., Klepac-Ceraj, V., Riggs, J.E., Rackaityte, E., Davey, M.E. Porphyromonas gingivalis:- keeping the pathos out of the biont. 2013. J Oral Microbiology, 5:10.3402/jom.v5i0.19804.
  • Silberman, D., Bucknum, A., Bartlett, T., Composto, G., Kozlowski, M., Walker, A., Werda, A., Cua, J., Sharpe, A., Somerville, J., Riggs, J. 2012. CD28 ligation triggers macrophage suppression of T cell proliferation. Cellular and Molecular Immunology, 9:341.
  • Composto, G., Gonzalez, D., Bucknum, A., Silberman, D., Taylor, J., Kozlowski, M., Bloomfield, T., Bartlett, T., Riggs, J. Peritoneal T lymphocyte regulation by macrophages. 2011. Immunobiology, 216:256.
  • Silberman, D., Bucknum, A., Kozlowski, M., Matlack, R., Riggs, J. Cytokine treatment of macrophage suppression of T cell activation. 2010. Immunobiology, 215:70.
  • Yeh, K., Silberman, D., Gonzalez, D., Riggs, J. Complementary suppression of T cell activation by peritoneal macrophages and CTLA-4-Ig. 2007. Immunobiology, 212:1.
  • Pennello, A., Taylor, J., Matlack., R., Karp, J., Riggs, J. Spiny mice (Acomys cahirinus) do not respond to thymus-independent type 2 antigens. 2006. Dev. Comp. Immunol., 30:1181.
  • Coleman, C., Howell, K., Hobbs, M.V., Riggs, J. Age-dependent loss of naïve T cells in TCR transgenic bone marrow chimeras. 2006. Immunobiology, 211:701.
  • Matlack, R., Yeh, K., Rosini, L., Gonzalez, D., Taylor, J., Silberman, D., Pennello, A., Riggs, J. Peritoneal macrophages suppress T-cell activation by amino acid catabolism. 2006. Immunology, 117:386.