Academic Rank:
Associate Professor, Pediatrics
Child & Family Research Institute
Child & Family Research Institute

Short Bio:

As you read this paragraph, two infants in the world will have died from an infection for which there is an effective vaccine. Worldwide we could save 5 million infants every year—if only we could immunize them on time. There appear to be many reasons—none of them insurmountable—why the world fails to save the lives of these children. The work in our lab focuses on part of the science to help solve this problem: we are developing a vaccine system that with only one immunization given at birth will protect from a wide range of specific infectious diseases, as well as from allergies, autoimmune diseases and malignancies, for the entire life. We are systematically analyzing the human neonatal and infant response to danger signals (e.g. TLR-ligands) and vaccines. This way, we will learn what aspects of the newborn’s immune system work well. With that knowledge, we hope to identify immune modulators or adjuvants that would aid in their immune response to vaccines and help protect them from disease. This work is done in close collaboration with several national and international research centres through large clinical trials. Our lab uses state-of-the-art technology (high-throughput flow cytometry, multiplex ELISA, real-time PCR, SNP genotyping, microarrays, etc.) to get the most information from very small samples. Part of this also requires a solid investment into development of optimal bioinformatics tools, and we are part of an international group focused on this important task. Parallel to the human descriptive studies, we are developing a vaccine platform in mice on which we can test our vaccines and define the exact molecular mechanisms at work. For example, we use genetically altered strains of Listeria monocytogenes to target our vaccines to only those cells we want to infect, to then deliver its vaccine antigen, induce the desired immune response, and disappear—all without causing any harm to the newborn. Our preliminary data gives us great hope that our final goal is within reach.

Academic Backgrounds:
  • MD and PhD (Microbiology and Immunology), Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Bronx, New York)
  • Fellowship, Pediatric Infectious Disease, University of Washington
Awards & Recognition:
  • Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Career Investigator Award
  • Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Career Development Award
  • Burroughs Wellcome Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences
  • Pfizer Postdoctoral Fellowship in Infectious Diseases
  • Alpha Omega Alpha (National Honour Medical Society)
Selected Publications
  • Arrieta MC, Stiemsma LT, Dimitriu PA, Thorson L, Russell S, Yurist-Doutsch S, Kuzeljevic B, Gold MJ, Britton HM, Lefebvre DL, Subbarao P, Mandhane P, Becker A, McNagny KM, Sears MR, Kollmann T; CHILD Study Investigators, Mohn WW, Turvey SE, Brett Finlay B.Early infancy microbial and metabolic alterations impact risk of childhood asthma. Sci Transl Med. 2015 Sep 30;7(307):307. PMID: 26424567
  • Marchant EA, Kan B, Sharma AA, van Zanten A, Kollmann TR, Brant R, Lavoie PM. Attenuated innate immune defenses in very premature neonates during the neonatal period. Pediatr Res. 2015 Jul 17 [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 26186294
  • Lissner MM, Thomas BJ, Wee K, Tong AJ, Smale ST, Kollmann TR. Age-Related Gene Expression Differences in Monocytes from Human Neonates, Young Adults, and Older Adult.  PLoS One. 2015 Jul 6;10(7):e0132061. PMID: 26147648
  • Amenyogbe N., Levy O., T.R. Kollmann. Systems Vaccinology: a promise for the young and the poor. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B. PMID: 25964462
  • Goenka A, Kollmann TR.  Development of immunity in early life.  J Infect. June 2015;71 Suppl 1: S112-20. PMID: 25934325
  • D. M. MacGillivray and T.R. Kollmann. The role of environmental factors in modulating immune responses in early life. Front. Immunol. 5:434. 2014. PMID: 25309535
  • P. Aaby, T.R. Kollmann, C. Stabell Benn. Non specific effects of neonatal and infant vaccination: public health, immunological, and conceptual challenges. Nature Immunology 15(10):895-899; 2014. PMID: 25232810
  • K.K. Smolen, B. Cai, L. Gelinas, E.S. Fortuno, M. Larsen, D.P. Speert, M. Chamekh, P.J. Cooper, M. Esser, A. Marchant, T.R. Kollmann. Single cell analysis of innate cytokine responses to pattern recognition receptor stimulation in children across four continents. J. Immunol., 193(6):3003-12; 2014. PMID: 25135829
  • B.A. Reikie, R.C.M. Adams, A. Leligdowicz, K. Ho, S. Naidoo, C.E. Ruck, C. de Beer, W. Preiser, M.F. Cotton, D.P. Speert, M. Esser, T.R. Kollmann. Altered innate immune development in HIV-exposed uninfected infants. JAIDS, 66(3):245-55; 2014. PMID: 24732876
  • S.Y. Aloyouni, C.-P. Segeritz, A.M. Sherrid, M. J. Gold, D. I. M. Loeffler, M.-R. Blanchet, B. Cai, J. Hirota, K. M. McNagny, T. R. Kollmann. Perinatal immunization with vaccine-grade Listeria monocytogenes provides protection against murine Th2 airway inflammation. Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Research; 6(4):341-9; 2014. PMID: 24991458
  • Shey MS, Nemes E, Whatney W, de Kock M, Africa H, Barnard C, van Rooyen M, Stone L, Riou C, Kollmann T, Hawn TR, Scriba TJ, Hanekom WA. Maturation of Innate Responses to Mycobacteria over the First 9 Months of Life. J. Immunol.; 192(10):4833-43; 2014. PMID: 24733845
  • K. Smolen, C. Ruck, E.S. Fortuno III, K. Ho, P. Dimitriu, W. Mohn, D.P. Speert, P.J. Cooper, M. Esser, T. Goetghebuer, A. Marchant, T.R. Kollmann. Pattern recognition receptor-mediated cytokine response in infants across four continents. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology; 133(3):818-26; 2014. PMID: 24290283
  • M. Pettengill, S. Robson, M. Tresenriter, J. Millán, A. Usheva, T. Bingham, M. Belderbos, I. Bergelson, S. Burl, B. Kampmann, L. Gelinas, T. Kollmann, L. Bont, O. Levy. Soluble ecto-5′-nucleotidase (5′NT), alkaline phosphatase, and adenosine deaminase (ADA1) activities in neonatal blood favor elevated extracellular adenosine. J. Biol. Chem.Epub. 2013. PMID: 23897810
  • A.M. Sherrid & T.R. Kollmann. Age-dependent Differences in Systemic and Cell-autonomous Immunity to L. monocytogenesClinical & Developmental Immunology Epub April 2013. PMID: 23653659
  • P. Cho, L. Gelinas, N.P. Corbett, S.J. Tebbutt, S.E. Turvey, E.S. Fortuno III, and T.R. Kollmann. Association of common single nucleotide polymorphisms in innate immune genes with differences in TLR-induced cytokine production in neonates. Genes & Immunity Epub. March 2013. PMID: 23466493
  • S. Dobson, S. McNeil, M. Dionne, M. Dawar, G. Ogilvie, M. Krajden, C. Sauvageau, D.W. Scheifele, T.R. Kollmann, S.A. Halperin, J.M. Langley, J.A. Bettinger, J. Singer, D. Money, D. Miller, M. Naus, F. Marra, E. Young. Immunogenicity of 2 doses of human papillomavirus vaccine in younger adolescents versus 3 doses in young women. JAMA 309:1793; 2013. PMID: 22048171
  • T.R. Kollmann. Variation between populations in the innate immune response to vaccine adjuvants.Frontiers in Immunology 4:81; 2013. PMID: 23565115
  • M. Azad, et al. Gut microbiota of healthy Canadian infants: profiles by mode of delivery and infant diet at 4 months. CMAJ 185:385-94; 2013. PMID: 23401405
  • N. Aghaeepour, et al.. Critical assessment of automated flow cytometry data analysis techniques. Nature Methods 10:228; 2013. PMID: 23396282
  • T.R. Kollmann, O. Levy, R.R. Montgomery, S. Goriely. Innate Immune Function and Toll-like Receptors: Distinct Responses in Newborns and the Elderly. Immunity 37:771; 2012. PMID: 23159225
  • B.A. Reikie, S. Naidoo, C.E. Ruck, A.L. Slogrove, C de Beer, H. la Grange, R.C.M. Adams, K. Ho, K. Smolen, D.P. Speert, M.F. Cotton, W. Preiser, M. Esser & T.R. Kollmann. Antibody responses to vaccination among South African HIV-exposed and unexposed uninfected infants over the first two years of life. Clinical & Vaccine Immunology 20:33; 2013. PMID: 23114697
  • O. Levy, S. Goriely, T.R. Kollmann. Immune Response to Vaccine Adjuvants during the First Year of Life. Vaccine 31:2500; 2012. PMID: 23085363
  • B. Reikie, R.C.M. Adams, C.E. Ruck, K. Ho, A. Leligdowicz, S. Pillay, S. Naidoo, E.F. Fortuno III, C. de Beer, W. Preiser, M.F. Cotton, D.P. Speert, M. Esser, T.R. Kollmann. Ontogeny of Toll-like receptor mediated cytokine responses of South African infants throughout the first year of life. PLoSONE 7:e44763; 2012. PMID: 23028609
  • A.L. Slogrove, Reikie B., Naidoo S., de Beer C., Ho K., Cotton M.F., Bettinger J., Speert D.P., Esser M. & T. Kollmann. HIV exposed uninfected infants are at increased risk for severe infections in the first year of life. Journal of Tropical Pediatrics 58:505; 2012. PMID: 22555385
  • K. Smolen, Gelinas L., Franzen L., Dobson S., Dawar M., Ogilvie G., Krajden M., Fortuno E.S. & T. R. Kollmann. Age of recipient vs. number of doses differentially impact human B vs. T cell immune memory responses to HPV vaccination. Vaccine 30:3572; 2012. PMID: 22469863
  • N. Dauby, Goetghebuer T., Kollmann T.R., Levy J., Marchant A. Uninfected, but not unaffected: the impact of chronic maternal infections during pregnancy on fetal immunity and susceptibility to post-natal infections. Lancet Infectious Diseases 12:330; 2012. PMID: 22364680
  • Immunology and immunological diseases
  • Developmental immunology/ neonatal immunology
  • Infectious disease
  • Vaccines


Our lab uses state-of-the-art wet-lab technology and bioinformatic approaches (systems biology) to get the most information out of the smallest samples from newborns and infants around the world. Parallel to these obervational human cohort studies, we are developing in vitro (culture) and in vivo (animal) models where we establish concrete cause & effect of the relationships identified in our systems biological studies. This combined approach allows us to systematically dissect the key cellular and molecular mechanisms important in the human neonatal and infant response to infection or vaccination. Based on that knowledge, we are identifying immune modulators that help protect newborns from disease, and aid in their immune response to vaccines important for global health. This work is done in close collaboration with several large national (e.g. CHILD) and international research groups from Africa and Asia, to Europe, Australia and North America.