Decoding and rewriting human immune cells with CRISPR

Our Research

The goal of our lab is to understand genetic circuits that control human immune cell function in health and disease, employing powerful new CRISPR genome engineering technologies. We are focused on elucidating the genetic and epigenetic regulation of human immune cells and the development and application of gene editing technologies to manipulate immune cells to fight diseases including cancer, autoimmunity, and infectious disease. The lab is decoding gene programs in pro-inflammatory T cells that drive effective anti-cancer immune responses and programs in anti-inflammatory regulatory T cells (Tregs) that are critical to prevent autoimmunity. Using tools developed in the lab for CRISPR genome engineering in primary human T cells we are pursuing a comprehensive strategy to test how coding and non-coding genetic variation controls functional programs in the immune system and extending our genome engineering capabilities to reprogram the next generation of cellular therapies.

Our Partners


Our People

The Marson lab is a team of highly collaborative students, research technicians, and postdoctoral scientists with expertise across the fields of genomics, immunology, infectious diseases and genome engineering.

In the News

Media highlights of Alex and the lab’s research.
New Approach to CRISPR Delivery Opens the Door to Editing Multiple Genes Safely
Congratulations Joe Hiatt - Marson lab alum - on matching at UCSF!
A Cellular Engineering Breakthrough: High-Yield CRISPR Without Viral Vectors
Giving Immunotherapy Cells Resilience to Pass the ‘Stress Test’
Obesity can turn a helpful immunotherapy into a harmful one, mouse study shows
Living Therapeutics Initiative Will Accelerate Development and Delivery of Revolutionary Treatments
Gene Editing Expands to New Types of Immune Cells
Meet Dr. Alexander Marson, One of CRI’s New Lloyd J. Old STARs
The Immuno-Revolution: Resolving “Complexity Exemplified”
Two New Research Institutes in the Bay Area

Stay Updated

Keep up-to-date with the latest research from the Marson lab.

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Recent Lab News

March 2021

Ujjwal Rathore was awarded the Mathilde Krim fellowship by The Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR).

November 2020

Tori Yamamoto has been appointed a Zena Werb scholar as a T32 trainee.

June 2020

Alex is featured on 60 minutes to discuss COVID-19 antibody testing.

March 2021

Zach Steinhart was selected for the Parker Scholar award from the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy.

August 2020

The Marson lab has moved into space at the new Gladstone-UCSF Institute of Genomic Immunology.

May 2020

Alex is named Director of the newly launching Gladstone-UCSF Institute of Genomic Immunology.