Brian A. Cobb, PhD

Michael E. Lamm Professor
Department of Pathology
School of Medicine
Immunology Training Program
School of Medicine

Dr. Brian Cobb graduated with a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Oklahoma in 1995. The next five years were spent at Washington University, St. Louis, where he received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry studying the macromolecular interactions of the lens protein alpha crystallin with the plasma membrane. His three years as a postdoctoral fellow was spent as a dual appointment in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics and the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (2001-04) working with Dennis Kasper on the innate and adaptive immune responses to commensal bacteria-derived capsular polysaccharides. He continued at Harvard for another year as an Instructor before coming to Case School of Medicine in 2005 where he is a Professor in the Department of Pathology, and Director of the Immunology Training Program.

Research Information

Research Projects

The Cobb lab is broadly focused on immune regulation and the role that host carbohydrates (glycans) play in related mechanisms. As such, we work at the interface of glycobiology and immunology.

The lab can be roughly broken into two areas of research:

  1. Antibody (IgG) effector function is variable depending upon the composition of the conserved glycans within the constant Fc domain. This project focuses upon the underlying mechanisms by which the glycans change as a function of inflammation and disease (e.g., autoimmunity).
  2. Tissue-resident macrophages play diverse roles in the function of a given tissue or organ and are tuned for the needs of that tissue. We have discovered a novel pathway of sensing the tissue microenvironment mediated by a family of receptors called Siglecs which recognize sialylated glycans within the tissues. This project focuses on discovering the role and mechanisms of these sensory pathways in macrophage behavior and function.

View the Cobb Laboratory


View All Publications

  1. Glendenning, L.M., Reynero, K.M., Kukan, E.N., Long, M.D., Cobb, B.A. (2023) “IgG sialylation occurs via the FcRn-mediated recycling pathway in endothelial cells”, BioRxiv: 2023.06.30.547255.  [PMC10602034]
  2. Alvarez, C.A., Qian, E., Glendenning, L.M., Reynero, K.M., Kukan, E.N., Cobb, B.A. (2023) “Acute and chronic lung inflammation drives changes in epithelial glycans”, Frontiers in Immunology 14: 1167908. [PMC10239862]
  3. Oswald, D.M., Lehoux, S.D., Zhou, J.Y., Glendenning, L.M., Cummings, R.D., Cobb, B.A. (2022) “ST6Gal1 in plasma is dispensable for IgG sialylation”, Glycobiology 32(9): pp. 803-813. [PMC9387507]
  4. Glendenning, L.M., Zhou, J.Y., Reynero, K.M., Cobb, B.A. (2022) “Divergent Golgi trafficking limits B cell-mediated IgG sialylation”, Journal of Leukocyte Biology 112(6): pp. 1555-1566. [PMC9701147]
  5. Zhou, J.Y., Cobb, B.A. (2021) “Glycans in Immunologic Health and Disease”, Annual Review of Immunology 39: pp. 511-536. [PMID 33577348]
  6. Zhou, J.Y., Alvarez, C.A., Cobb, B.A. (2021) “Integration of IL-2 and IL-4 Signals Coordinates Divergent Regulatory T cell Responses and Drives Therapeutic Efficacy”, eLife 10: e57417. [PMC7899647]
  7. Cobb, B.A. (2020) “The History of IgG Glycosylation and Where We Are Now”, Glycobiology 30(4), pp. 202-213. [PMC7109348]
  8. Oswald, D.M., Jones, M.B., Cobb, B.A. (2020) “Modulation of hepatocyte sialylation drives spontaneous fatty liver disease and inflammation”, Glycobiology 30(5), pp. 346-359. [PMC7175972]
  9. Oswald, D.M., Zhou, J.Y., Jones, M.B., Cobb, B.A. (2020) “Disruption of hepatocyte sialylation drives a T cell-dependent pro-inflammatory immune tone”, Glycobiology 37(3), pp. 395-407. [PMC7266343]
  10. Jones, M.B., Oswald, D.M., Joshi, S., Whiteheart, S.W., Orlando, R., Cobb, B.A. (2016) “B cell Independent Sialylation of IgG”, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113(26), pp. 7207-7212.  [PMC4932940] 
  11. Ryan, S.O., Bonomo, J.A., Zhao, F., Cobb, B.A.  (2011) "MHCII Glycosylation Modulates Bacteroides fragilis Carbohydrate Antigen Presentation", Journal of Experimental Medicine 208(5), pp. 1041-1053. [PMC3092352]


Doctor of Philosophy
Washington University, St. Louis
Area of Study
Bachelor of Science
University of Oklahoma
Area of Study

Residencies, Internships and Fellowships

Harvard Medical School
Area of Study