Caroline Le Poole, PhD

Phone: 708-327-2032
Fax: 708-327-3238

Dr. Caroline Le Poole studied Biology (Majors: Microbiology, Molecular Cell Biology and Bioprocess Technology) at Utrecht University in the Netherlands (M.S., 1987) and went on to receive a Ph.D. in Medicine from the Department of Dermatology at Amsterdam University, also in the Netherlands on "Aspects of Melanocytes in Relation to Vitiligo" (Ph.D., 1993). She was the first woman ever to receive a Ph.D. from this century old Department. Dr Le Poole completed further postdoctoral studies on melanocyte adhesion in Amsterdam until 1995. After a short sabbatical at the CNRS in Orleans, France she obtained a Stipend from the Dutch Organization for Pure Scientific Research (NWO), and came to the University of Cincinnati (OH) in 1995 to characterize differential gene expression in vitiligo melanocytes in the laboratory of Dr. Raymond Boissy. The first vitiligo-associated gene VIT1 was identified and Dr Le Poole received a Young Investigator Award from the Pan American Society for Pigment Cell Research for these studies. In Cincinnati, Dr. Le Poole also worked with Dr. Steven Boyce on cytokine expression in reconstituted skin at the Shriners Burns Institute. In 1998, Dr. Le Poole was appointed as Research Assistant Professor of Dermatology and obtained a Career Development Award from the Dermatology Foundation to investigate the autoimmune response in vitiligo. In 1999, she moved to Chicago to join Dr. Nickoloff's Cutaneous Oncology program as a (Research) Assistant Professor of Pathology at Loyola University Medical Center.

Autoimmune recognition of melanocytes in vitiligo remains a primary research interest of Dr. Le Poole, as well as dendritic cell effector functions and immune recognition of tumor cells. The progressive loss of skin color as observed in vitiligo is considered a positive prognostic factor in patients with malignant melanoma, where the immune response all to often fails to clear patients of their tumor. By studying effective recognition of melanocytic cells in vitiligo, Dr. Le Poole aims to contribute to the development of new anti-melanoma vaccines.

Dr. Le Poole has authored 50 book chapters and publications in peer reviewed scientific journals. She was elected secretary of the Chicago Association of Immunologists (2000-2002), and her current activities include the Directorship of the Immune Monitoring Core in the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, where patient immune responses to experimental vaccines are characterized and quantified.

Tumor Immunology and Immunology 


  • J. A. Mosenson, A. Zloza, J. D. Nieland, E. Garrett-Mayer, J. M. Eby, E. J. Huelsmann, P. Kumar, C. J. Denman, A. T. Lacek, F. J. Kohlhapp, A. Alamiri, T. Hughes, S. D. Bines, H. L. Kaufman, A. Overbeck, S. Mehrotra, C. Hernandez, M. I. Nishimura, J. A. Guevara-Patino, I. C. Poole, Mutant HSP70 Reverses Autoimmune Depigmentation in Vitiligo. Sci. Transl. Med. 5, 174ra28 (2013)
  • Kroll TM, Bommiasamy H, Boissy RE, Hernandez C, Nickoloff BJ, Mestril R, Le Poole IC. 4-Tertiary butyl phenol sensitizes human melanocytes to dendritic cell mediated killing: relevance to vitiligo. J Invest Dermatol 124: 798-806 (2005)
  • Oyarbide-Valencia K, van den Boorn JG, Denman C, Carlson J, Hernandez C., Nishimura MI, Das PK, Luiten RM, Le Poole IC. Therapeutic implications of autoimmune vitiligo T cells. Autoimmun Rev 5: 486-492 (2006) Le Poole IC, Wankowicz-Kalinska A, van den Wijngaard RMJGJ, Nickoloff BJ, Das PK. Autoimmune aspects of depigmentation in vitiligo J Invest Dermatol Symp Proc 9:68-72 (2004)
  • Le Poole IC, Bommiasamy H, Kast WM. Recent progress in tumor vaccine development. Exp Opin Investig Drugs 12: 971-981 (2003)
  • Le Poole IC, Riker AI, Quevedo E, Stennett LS, Wang E, Marincola FM, Kast WM, Robinson JK, Nickoloff BJ. Interferon-g reduces melanosomal antigen expression and recognition of melanoma cells by cytotoxic T cells. Am J of Pathol 160: 521-528 (2002)
  • Das PK, van den Wijngaard RMJGJ, Wankowicz-Kalinska A, Le Poole IC. A symbiotic concept of autoimmunity and tumour immunity: lessons from vitiligo. Trends Immunol, 22: 130-136 (2001)
  • Le Poole IC, Yang F, Brown TL, Cornelius J, Babcock G, Das PK, Boissy RE.  Altered gene expression in melanocytes exposed to 4-tertiary butyl phenol (4-TBP); upregulation of the A2B adenosine receptor. J Invest Dermatol, 113:725-731 (1999)
  • Le Poole IC, van den Berg FM, van den Wijngaard RMJGJ, Galloway DA, van Amstel PJ, Buffing AAM, Smits HL, Westerhof W, Das PK. Generation of a human melanocyte cell line by introduction of HPV16 E6 and E7 genes. In Vitro Cell Development Biol 33: 44-48 (1997)
  • Le  Poole IC, Ren� MJGJ van den Wijngaard, Wiete Westerhof, Pranab K Das. Presence of T cells and macrophages in inflammatory vitiligo skin parallels melanocyte disappearance. Am J Pathol 148: 1219-1228 (1996)
  • Le Poole IC, Mutis T, van den Wijngaard RMJGJ, Westerhof W, Ottenhof T, de Vries RRP, Das PK: A novel, antigen presenting function of melanocytes and its possible relation to hypopigmentary disorders. J Immunol 151: 7284-7292 (1993)
  • Le Poole IC, van den Wijngaard RMJGJ, Westerhof W, Dutrieux RP, Dingemans KP, Das PK: Phagocytosis by normal human melanocytes in vitro. Exp Cell Res 205: 388-395 (1993)
  • Le Poole IC, van den Wijngaard RMJGJ, Westerhof W, Dutrieux RP, Das PK: Presence or absence of melanocytes in vitiligo lesions: An immunohistochemical investigation. J Invest Dermatol 100, 816-822 (1993)