We study the interactions between pathogens and the innate immune system.

Infection is a constant threat to all living things. Most of us are oblivious of this threat because our immune system does a remarkable job of eliminating infectious microbes before they cause symptoms. We are interested in understanding how the immune system detects the presence of infectious microbes. We use all the tools of modern molecular biology, biochemistry, and genetics to dissect the fundamental mechanisms that provide host defense. We are also interested in understanding the mechanisms by which pathogens evade host immunity and cause disease.


Update May 2024

We are thrilled to announce that Arthur Cheng will be joining the lab as graduate student #23 (!). Arthur is himself surprised to be joining the Vance Lab, as he didn’t really imagine that he would join an immunology lab for his PhD. However, his project will be to decipher the mechanism by which the …

Update May 2023

There are several good pieces of news to report: (1) Former postdoctoral fellow Patrick Mitchell has been announced as an HHMI Freeman Hrabowski Scholar. This will provide significant support for his new and rapidly growing lab at the University of Washington. Congrats Patrick! (2) We have just welcomed a new graduate student to the lab, …


The Vance Lab is located on the 4th floor of the Life Science Addition on the UC Berkeley campus. We are adjacent to eight other labs within the Immunology Division of the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology. We are also near the Cancer Research Laboratory Flow Cytometry Facility.

Available Positions

Undergraduates & Interns: There are currently no positions available for undergraduate researchers. Positions will be advertised on the workstudy site when they are available. Generally, there are no positions available for short-term internships.
Graduate students: Prospective PhD students interested in joining the lab must first apply and be admitted to the MCB PhD graduate program. I cannot take students directly into my lab.
Postdocs: if you are interested in a position for 2022 or beyond, you should contact Russell Vance directly. Include a CV and a statement of why they are interested in the lab.