Facundo Batista

Facundo Batista, PhD

Principal Investigator

Associate Director

Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard

Professor of Microbiology and Immunology

Harvard Medical School



Room 876

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B cells, antibodies, preclinical vaccinology

Research Overview

The Batista lab studies the fundamental biology of the immune system to develop the next generation of vaccines and therapeutics. Our targets include HIV, malaria, influenza, and SARS-CoV-2, and our approach focuses on B cells, a critical component of the immune system responsible for producing antibodies.

The Batista lab investigates how, where, and when B cells are activated, with the goal of rationalizing the development of vaccines. Historically, our lab has focused on understanding B cell receptor (BCR) function, including BCR signaling dynamics, inhibitory and stimulatory regulation by co-receptors, and interactions with the cortical cytoskeleton. More recent projects investigate the role of B cell metabolism (e.g., autophagy and mitochondrial flux) in driving humoral immunity. The lab’s applied immunology work primarily consists of the creation of new mouse models for the preclinical testing of immunogens and vaccination strategies; we use these models to assess the effectiveness of immunizations in recruiting B cells to germinal centers, inducing B cell receptor mutations, and producing high affinity antibodies.

Recognition and Media

The Batista Lab has received funding from a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant, and NIAID grants in basic B cell biology. They also been awarded a grant for translational vaccinology. Dr. Batista is the co-lead PI of the Scripps Consortium for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Development (CHAVD) Scientific Research Support Unit and co-lead of the publicly available MIT course, "COVID-19, SAR-CoV-2, and the Pandemic."

COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, and the Pandemic


Dr. Facundo Batista was a tenured Member of the Francis Crick Institute and a Professor at Imperial College London. He received his PhD from the International School of Advanced Studies in Trieste, Italy, and his undergraduate degree from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Facundo is an elected member of the American Academy of Microbiology, the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), a Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Science, and a recipient of the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit and EMBO Young Investigator Awards. He is also the current Chief Editor for The EMBO Journal.

Selected Publications

Asymmetric segregation of polarized antigen on B cell division shapes presentation capacity

Thaunat O, Granja AG, Barral P, Filby A, Montaner B, Collinson L, Martinez-Martin N, Harwood NE, Bruckbauer A, Batista FD.

Science. 2012; 335(6067):475-9

Inflammation-induced disruption of SCS macrophages impairs B cell responses to secondary infection

Gaya, M., Castello, A., Montaner, B., Rogers, N., Reis e Sousa, C., Bruckbauer, A., & Batista, F. D.

Science. 2015; 347(6222), 667-672

A switch from canonical to noncanonical autophagy shapes B cell responses

Martinez-Martin N, Maldonado P, Gasparrini F, Frederico B, Aggarwal S, Gaya M, Tsui C, Burbage M, Keppler SJ, Montaner B, Jefferies HB, Nair U, Zhao YG, Domart MC, Collinson L, Bruckbauer A, Tooze SA, Batista FD

Science. 2017; 355(6325):641-647

Initiation of antiviral B cell immunity relies on innate signals from spatially positioned NKT cells

Gaya M, Barral P, Burbage M, Aggarwal S, Montaner B, Warren Navia A, Aid M, Tsui C, Maldonado P, Nair U, Ghneim K, Fallon PG, Sekaly RP, Barouch DH, Shalek AK, Bruckbauer A, Strid J, Batista FD.

Cell. 2017; 17:31387–9

Protein Kinase C-β Dictates B Cell Fate by Regulating Mitochondrial Remodeling, Metabolic Reprogramming, and Heme Biosynthesis

Tsui C, Martinez-Martin N, Gaya M, Maldonado P, Llorian M, Legrave NM, Rossi M, MacRae JI, Cameron AJ, Parker PJ, Leitges M, Bruckbauer A, Batista FD.

Immunity. 2018 Jun 19;48(6):1144-1159.e5

One-step CRISPR/Cas9 method for the rapid generation of human antibody heavy chain knock-in mice

Lin YC, Pecetta S, Steichen JM, Kratochvil S, Melzi E, Arnold J, Dougan SK, Wu L, Kirsch KH, Nair U, Schief WR, Batista FD.

The EMBO Journal. 2018;37(18):e99243

A generalized HIV vaccine design strategy for priming of broadly neutralizing antibody responses

Steichen JM, Lin YC, Havenar-Daughton C, Pecetta S, Ozorowski G, Willis JR, Toy L, Sok D, Liguori A, Kratochvil S, Torres JL, Kalyuzhniy O, Melzi E, Kulp DW, Raemisch S, Hu X, Bernard SM, Georgeson E, Phelps N, Adachi Y, Kubitz M, Landais E, Umotoy J, Robinson A, Briney B, Wilson IA, Burton DR, Ward AB, Crotty S, Batista FD, Schief WR.

Science. 2019; 366(6470):eaax4380

Multiplexed CRISPR/CAS9-mediated engineering of pre-clinical mouse models bearing native human B cell receptors

Wang X, Ray R, Kratochvil S, Melzi E, Lin YC, Giguere S, Xu L, Warner J, Cheon D, Liguori A, Groschel B, Phelps N, Adachi Y, Tingle R, Wu L, Crotty S, Kirsch KH, Nair U, Schief WR, Batista FD.

The EMBO Journal. 2021; 40(2):e105926

Lab Team

Maria Bottermann

Research Fellow

Jordan R. Ellis-Pugh

Research Technician I

Amrit Raj Ghosh

Research Fellow

Sophie Giguere

Graduate Student

Kathrin Kirsch

Senior Lab Manager

Ja-Hyun Koo

Research Fellow

Sven Kratochvil

Research Fellow

Edward Lamperti

Project Manager, Research

Paula Maldonado

Research Fellow

Eleonora Melzi

Research Fellow

Usha Nair

Senior Research Scientist

Manfredo Perez

Senior Research Lab Assistant

Annie Phan

Research Technician I

Thavaleak Prum

Veterinary Technologist

Rashmi Ray

Research Fellow

Jeroen Tas

Graduate Student

Katie Tumang

Research Technician I

Xuesong Wang

Research Fellow

John Warner

Senior Research Technologist

Stephanie Weldon

Science Writer

Zhenfei Xie

Research Fellow

Liling Xu

Research Fellow

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