Joseph W. Brewer, PhD

Joseph W. Brewer, PhDAssociate Dean for Research
Associate Professor of Immunology
Chair, Department of Molecular and Cellular Sciences
(434) 592-6217


  • PhD, Duke University
  • BS, Auburn University


Dr. Brewer completed a post-doctoral fellowship in cell biology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Dr. Brewer came to LUCOM with over 10 years of faculty experience in medical and graduate education in biomedical sciences, teaching immunology and mentoring students in the laboratory.

Dr. Brewer served on the faculty at the Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University, Chicago, for 8 years and then at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine for 6 years. His research focuses on a cellular stress response mechanism, termed the unfolded protein response, and on the function of B-lymphocytes in the immune system.

Courses Taught

  • Biological Foundations of Medicine – BFOM
  • Integument and Musculoskeletal Systems – IMSK
  • Cardiovascular Respiratory Hematologic System – CVRH
  • Gastrointestinal System and Nutrition – GINUTRI
  • Endocrine and Reproductive Systems – ENDREP
  • Urinary System – URI
  • Population-Based Medicine – PBM
  • Hematology/Oncology – HO
  • Orthopedics/Rheumatology/Dermatology - ORD


  • Brewer, J. W., V. Solodushko, I. Aragon and R. A. Barrington.  Phosphatidylcholine as a metabolic cue for determining B cell fate and function. Cell. Immunol.310:78-88, 2016.
  • Aragon, I. V., R. A. Barrington, S. Jackowski, K. Mori, and J. W. Brewer.  The specialized unfolded protein response of B lymphocytes: ATF6a-independent development of antibody-secreting B cells. Mol. Immunol.51:347-355, 2012.
  • Byrd, A. E., I.V. Aragon, and J. W. Brewer.  MicroRNA-30c-2* limits expression of proadaptive factor XBP1 in the unfolded protein response.  J. Cell Biol.196:689-698, 2012.
  • R. Bartoszewski, J. W. Brewer, A. Rab, D. K. Crossman, S. Bartoszewska, N. Kapoor, C. Fuller, J. F. Collawn and Z. Bebok.  The unfolded protein response (UPR)-activated transcription factor XBP1 induces micro-RNA-346 expression that targets the human antigen peptide transporter 1 (TAP1) mRNA and governs immune regulatory genes.  J. Biol. Chem. 286: 41862-41870, 2011.
  • Bommiasamy, H., S-H. Back, P. Fagone, K. Lee, S. Meshinchi, E. Vink, R. Sriburi, M. Frank, S. Jackowski, R. J. Kaufman, and J. W. Brewer. ATF6ainducesXBP-1-independent expansion of the endoplasmic reticulum.  J. CellSci. 122: 1626-1636, 2009.
  • Fagone, P., C. Gunter, C. R. Sage, K. E. Gunn, J. W. Brewerand S. Jackowski.  CTP: phosphocholine cytidylyltransferase ais required for B-cell proliferation and class switch recombination. J.Biol.Chem. 284: 6847-6854, 2009.
  • Bechill, J., Z. Chen, J. W. Brewerand S. C. Baker.  Coronavirus infection modulates the unfolded protein response and mediates sustained translational repression.  J. Virol. 82:4492-4501, 2008.
  • Fagone, P., R. Sriburi, C. Ward-Chapman, M. Frank, J. Wang, C. Gunter, J. W. Brewerand S. Jackowski. Phospholipid biosynthesis program underlying membrane expansion during B-lymphocyte differentiation.  J. Biol. Chem.  282:7591-7605, 2007.
  • Gass, J. N., H-Y. Jiang, R. C. Wek, and J. W. Brewer.  The unfolded protein response of B-lymphocytes: PERK-independent development of antibody-secreting cells.  Mol. Immunol.  45:1035-1043, 2008.
  • Sriburi, R., H. Bommiasamy, G. L. Buldak, G. R. Robbins, M. Frank, S. Jackowski, and J. W. Brewer.  Coordinate regulation of phospholipid biosynthesis and secretory pathway gene expression in XBP-1(S)-induced endoplasmic reticulum biogenesis.  J. Biol. Chem. 282:7024-7034, 2007.

Professional Memberships

  • American Association of Immunologists
  • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Research Interests

  • Cellular response to physiological processes that stress the secretory pathway
  • Regulation of antibody-secreting B cells