Fabian Crespo


Today, I identify myself as a biological anthropologist interested in human evolutionary immunology. I received my Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Buenos Aires (Argentina) in 1998; and soon after my Ph.D. dissertation, I re-directed my career and decided to focus my research and teaching agenda on different aspects of human immunology. In 2000, I moved to USA where in 2001 I started my postdoctoral research at the University of Louisville (Kentucky).

From 2001-2005 (Post-Doctoral track-Dept. of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Louisville) I worked under the supervision of Dr. Rafael Fernandez-Botran on diverse projects focused on cytokine biology and cancer immunology [see publications 1-5].

From 2006-2010 (Assistant Professor-Term Appt.- Dept. of Anthropology and Dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Louisville) I worked in collaboration with Dr. Manuel Casanova (Dept. of Psychiatry, University of Louisville) and Dr. Irene Litvan (Department of Neurology, University of Louisville) on different projects studying the role of inflammation and cytokine expression on brain disorders such as Autism and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy [see publications 6 and 7].

Since 2011 - (Assistant Professor-Tenure Track-Dept. of Anthropology, University of Louisville) I focused my research agenda on understanding inflammation and immune responses from an evolutionary perspective, where my working hypothesis is that different pathogenic experiences in the past shaped differentially the immune system in human populations. Two main events had a great influence in my research (and teaching) plans. In 2010, my participation in brainstorming meetings in the Ohio State University for the Global History Health Project: http://global.sbs.ohio-state.edu (Directors: Dr. Clark Spencer Larsen and Dr. Richard Steckel) and in 2012 my participation in the NEH Summer Seminar on Health and Disease in the Middle Ages at the Wellcome Library, London, England: http://healthanddisease2012.acmrs.org/index.html (Directors: Dr. Monica Green and Dr. Rachel Scott), helped me to generate a more challenging interdisciplinary research agenda. After these transforming experiences, my current  projects are:


1. Reconstructing the impact of medieval plague on the immune system in human populations.

Article in press (November 2014) in the special issue on Black Death for The Medieval Globe: www.arc-humanities.org/upcoming-issues.html [8]

2. Exploring the hypothesis on cross immunity between tuberculosis and leprosy.


Please, contact me if you have any questions about my current projects. I will be really happy expanding my ideas and rationale for each of them.

I am willing to accept graduate students, contact me if you have any questions.




1. Fernandez-Botran, R.; Gorantla, V; Sun, X.; Ren, X.; Perez-Abadia, G.; Crespo, F.; Oliver, R.; Orhun, H.; Quan, E.; Maldonado, C.; Ray, M. and Barker, J. 2002. Targeting of glycosaminoglycan-cytokine interactions as a novel therapeutic approach in allotransplantation. Transplantation 74(5):623-629.

2. Fernandez-Botran, R.; Crespo, F. and Sun, X. 2002. Soluble cytokine receptors in biological therapy. Exp.Opin.Biol.Ther. 2(6):585-605.

3. Cripps, J.; Crespo, F.; Romanovskis, P.; Spatola, A. and Fernandez-Botran, R. 2005. Modulation of acute inflammation by targeting glycosaminoglycan-cytokine interactions. Intl. Immunopharmacol. 5(11):1622-1632.

4. Crespo, F.; Sun, X.; Cripps, J. and Fernandez-Botran, R. 2006. The immunoregulatory effects of gangliosides involve immune deviation favoring type-2 T cell responses. J. Leukocyte Biol. 79:586-595.

5. Ihenetu, K.; Qazzaz, H.; Crespo, F.; Fernandez-Botran, R. and Valdes, R. 2007. Digoxin-like immunoreactive factors (DLIF) induce apoptosis in human acute T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia. Clin. Chem. 53(7):1315-1322.

6. Crespo, F.; Fernandez-Botran, R.; Tillquist, C.; Sears, L.; Mott, M. and Casanova, M. 2009. Cytokine polymorphisms in autism: their role in immune alterations. In "Autism: oxidative stress, inflammation, and immune abnormalities" Edited by Abha Chauhan, CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Publishers: 315-324.

7. Fernandez-Botran, R.; Ahmed, Z.; Crespo, F.; Gatenbee, C.; Gonzalez, J.; Dickson, D. and Litvan, I. 2011. Cytokine expression and microglial activation in brains of progressive supranuclear palsy and Alzheimer's disease patients. Parkinsonism & Related Dis. 17: 683-688.

8. Crespo, F. and Lawrenz M. 2014. Heterogeneous landscapes and medieval plague: an invitation to a new dialogue between historians and immunologists. The Medieval Globe 1: 229-257.