Mary Carrington

Mary Carrington, PhD

Principal Investigator

Steering Committee

Ragon Institute of Mass General, MIT, and Harvard

Visiting Professor

Harvard University

Senior Principal Investigator

Basic Science Program, Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research in the Laboratory of Integrative Cancer Immunology, National Cancer Institute



Bethesda, MD

Impact of immunogenetic variation on disease outcome

Research Overview

The Carrington Lab studies the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I and class II genetic loci.

The Carrington Lab posits that, while HLA allele disease associations are often attributed to variation at positions that determine specificity for antigenic peptides, there are other mechanisms by which HLA polymorphism influences the immune response. These include HLA class I interactions with innate immune receptors such as KIR and LILR, cell surface expression levels of HLA class I and class II, and allele-specific variation in HLA dependency on tapasin, a key component of the peptide loading complex. Our studies have identified novel HLA associations in a relatively large number of different types of human disorders, including infectious diseases, cancer, autoimmunity, reproductive diseases, and transplantation outcome.

Recognition and Media

Recognized as a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology in 2021, Dr. Carrington gave the AAI President’s Symposium lecture in 2021 and The Terasaki Lecture BSHI/EFI in Glasgow, UK, in 2021. She was awarded a Visiting Professorship from King’s College, Cambridge University, in Cambridge, the UK in 2018, a Visiting Professorship at Kumamoto University from 2017-2019, and a Newton Abraham Professorship at Oxford University, Oxford, UK, from 2015-2016. Dr. Carrington was awarded the 2009 Rose Payne Award in 2009, the Cecil and Ida Green Visiting Professorship, Green College, the University of British Columbia in 2006, and the Ceppellini Award, from the European Federation for Immunogenetics in 2005.


Dr. Carrington obtained her Ph.D. at Iowa State University in the Immunobiology Department. She performed her postdoctoral studies in the departments of Immunology and Microbiology at Duke University and the University of North Carolina. Prior to her current appointments at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, the Laboratory of Integrative Cancer Immunology, National Cancer Institute, and the Ragon Institute.

Selected Publications

Elevated HLA-A expression impairs HIV control through inhibition of NKG2A expressing cells

Ramsuran, V., Naranbhai, V., Horowitz, A., Qi, Y., Martin, M.P., Yuki, Y., Gao, X., Walker-Sperling, V., Del Prete, G.Q., Schneider, D.K., Lifson, J.D., Fellay, J., Deeks, S.G., Martin, J.N., Goedert, J.J., Wolinsky, S.M., Michael, N.L., Kirk, G.D., Buchbinder, S., Haas, D., Ndung’u, T., Goulder, P., Parham, P., Walker, B.D., Carlson, J.M., and Carrington, M.

Science, 359:86-90, PMID: 29302013, 2018

Killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor 3DL1 variation modifies HLA-B*57 protection against HIV-1

Martin, M.P., Naranbhai, V., Shea, P.R., Qi, Y., Ramsuran, V., Vince, N., Gao, X., Thomas, R., Brumme, Z.L., Carlson, J.M., Wolinsky, S., Goedert, J.J., Walker, B., Segal, F.P., Deeks, S., Haas, D., Migueles, S., Connors, M., Micheal, N., Fellay, J., Price, D.A., Lafont, B.A., Pymm, P., Saunders, P.M., Widjaja, J., Wong, S.C., Vivian, J.P., Rossjohn, J., Brooks, A.G., and Carrington, M.

J. Clin. Invest., PMID: 29461980, 128:1903-1912, 2018

Topological perspective on HIV escape

McMichael, A.J. and Carrington, M.

Science, PMID: 31048479, 364:438-439, 2019

CCR5AS IncRNA variation differentially regulates CCR5, influencing viral disease outcome

Kulkarni, S., Lied, A., Kulkarni, V., Rucevic, M., Ewy, R., Singh, S., McLaren, P.J., Viard, M., Martin, M.P., Naranbhai, V., Zou, C., Lin, Z., Gatanaga, H., Oka, S., Takiguchi, M., Thio, C.L., Margolick, J., Kirk, G.D., Goedert, J.J., Hoots, W.K., Deeks, S.G., Haas, D.W., Michael, N., Walker, B., Le Gall, S., Chowdhury, F., Yu, X.G., and Carrington, M.

Nat. Immunol., PMID: 31209403, 20:824-834, 2019

A subset of HLA-DP molecules serve as ligands for the natural cytotoxicity receptor NKp44

Niehrs, A., Garcia-Beltran, W.F., Norman, P.J., Watson, G.M., Holzemer, A., Chapel, A., Richert, L., Pommerening-Roser, A., Korner, C., Ozawa, M., Martrus, G., Rossjohn, J., Lee, J-H., Berry, R., Carrington, M., and Altfeld, M.

Nat. Immunol., PMID: 31358998, 20:1129-1137, 2019

HLA-B leader and survivorship after HLA-mismatched unrelated donor transplantation

Petersdorf, E.W., Stevenson, P., Bengtsson, M., De Santis, D., Dubois, V., Gooley, T., Horowitz, M., Hsu, K., Madrigal, J.A., Malkki, M., McKallor, C., Morishima, Y., Oudshoorn, M., Spellman, S.R., Villard, J., Carrington, M.

Blood, PMID: 32483623, 136:362-369, 2020

HLA tapasin independence: broader peptide repertoire and HIV control

Bashirova, A.A., Viard, M., Naranbhai, V., Grifoni, A., Garcia-Beltran, W., Akdag, M., Yuki, Y., Gao, X., O’hUigin, C., Raghavan, M., Wolinsky, S., Bream, J.H., Duggal, P., Martinson, J., Michael, N.L., Kirk, G.D., Buchbinder, S.P., Haas, D., Goedert, J.J., Deeks, S.G., Fellay, J., Walker, B., Goulder, P, Cresswell, P., Elliott, T., Sette, A., Carlson, J. and Carrington, M.

PNAS, PMID: 33097667, 117:28232-28238, 2020

Lab Team

Zhansong Lin

Research Fellow

Pedro Ojeda

Research Technician II

Victoria Walker-Sperling

Research Fellow

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