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MMI Faculty

John Elliott, MD, PhD, FRCPC

Departments of Medicine and Medical Microbiology & Immunology
Alberta Diabetes Institute
Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
University of Alberta
6-002B HRIF-East
Edmonton, AB Canada T6G 2E1

Ph : (780) 492-0895
Fax : (780) 407-4548



  • Professor, Departments of Medicine and Medical Microbiology & Immunology
  • Director of Alberta Diabetes Institute(ADI) Molecular Biology Core
  • Director of Patch Test Clinic, Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine
  • Lecturer in Immunology, MD Program first year block in Infection and Immunity
  • Founding member of local ImmuNet Council (ImmuNet) network
  • Member of Wellcome Trust-funded, Cambridge U.K. based 'MHC Haplotype Consortium'


Research Interests:

Dr. Elliott’s current research interests involve developing human-like immune models using human MHC class II transgenic NOD mice (created by a knock-in strategy) and developing new methods to achieve complete and ultimate resolution MHC typing of patients with autoimmune diseases.

Along with his other pursuits, in July 2004 Dr. Elliott returned to clinical medicine, completing residency training in Dermatology at the U of A, and earning his FRCPC designation in June, 2008.  In September 2008 he established a sub-specialty contact allergy/patch test clinic within the Division of Dermatology at the U of A.  Molecular characterization of human immune responses and immune regulation in the skin represents an area of future research for Dr. Elliott’s laboratory.

Dr. Elliott’s past research interests have focused on developing and applying novel genetic engineering and molecular biology technologies to further our understanding of immune regulation and parasitic diseases.  His graduate research involved cloning new cytokine genes using subtractive hybridization strategies.  During his post-doctoral work at Stanford University he was instrumental in the cloning and characterization of the delta chain T cell receptor genes.  A second post-doctoral stint at DNAX, a biotech company in Palo Alto CA., involved cloning novel surface antigens from the parasite Plasmodium falciparum using eukaryotic gene expression and antibody panning strategies.  Upon returning to the University of Alberta in 1990 he continued work cloning vaccine antigens from the sexual stages of Plasmodium falciparum.  In 1993 he moved into the area of autoimmune disease and type 1 diabetes, and working with Dr. B. Singh discovered an immunomodulatory role for the autoantigen glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) in NOD mice.  His interest in islet transplantation led him to develop several new gene therapy methods to promote the survival of transplanted islets.  More recent research has involved major contributions to an international effort to determine the complete DNA sequence of the human MHC region (a critical immune-regulatory region) from several autoimmune-prone haplotypes, and construction of transgenic NOD mice expressing human MHC class II genes.  This work enabled the discovery of two new mouse models of autoimmunity, that of idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy and autoimmune thyroiditis.



  • Kunimasa Suzuki (Manager of ADI Molecular Biology Core)
  • Joanne Fisher (Secretary)



Click here for most recent publications


Selected Publications:

  1. Horton R, Gibson R, Coggill P, Miretti M, Allcock RJ, Almeida J, Forbes S, Gilbert JG, Halls K, Harrow JL, Hart E, Howe K, Jackson DK, Palmer S, Roberts AN, Sims S, Stewart CA, Traherne JA, Trevanion S, Wilming L, Rogers J, de Jong PJ, Elliott JF, Sawcer S, Todd JA, Trowsdale J, Beck S. Variation analysis and gene annotation of eight MHC haplotypes: the MHC Haplotype Project. Immunogenetics. 2008 Jan;60(1):1-18. PMID: 18193213
  2. Hayward SL, Suzuki K, Elliott JF.  A radioligand binding assay to measure anti-thyroperoxidase autoantibodies in mice. J Immunol Methods. 2007 Jun 30;323(2):114-22. Epub 2007 Apr 30. PMID: 17482640
  3. Emamaullee JA, Shapiro AM, Rajotte RV, Korbutt G, Elliott JF.  Neonatal porcine islets exhibit natural resistance to hypoxia-induced apoptosis.  Transplantation. 2006 Oct 15:82(7):945-52. PMID: 17038911
  4. Hayward SL, Bautista-Lopez N, Suzuki K, Atrazhev A, Dickie P, Elliott JF.  CD4 T cells play major effector role and CD8 T cells initiating role in spontaneous autoimmune myocarditis of HLA-DQ8 transgenic IAb knockout nonobese diabetic mice.  J Immunol. 2006 Jun15;176(12):7715-25. PMID: 16751419
  5. Emamaullee JA, Rajotte RV, Liston P, Korneluk RG, Lakey JRT, Shapiro AMJ, Elliott JF.  XIAP Overexpression in human islets prevents early posttransplant apoptosis and reduces the islet mass needed to treat diabetes.  Diabetes. 2005 Sep;54(9):2541-8. PMID: 16123341


For more details about Dr. Elliott's career please consult the following links: