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Franck Barrat, PhD

About Dr. Barrat

Professor Barrat holds the Michael R. Bloomberg Chair in Autoimmune Diseases at Hospital for Special Surgery and is Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University. Dr. Barrat graduated from the Pasteur Institute and obtained his PhD from the University of Paris. Dr. Barrat conducted his postdoctoral fellowship at the DNAX Research Institute in Palo Alto, CA. Prior to joining HSS, Dr. Barrat worked for 15 years in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry in the USA conducting research focusing on autoimmune and infectious diseases.


The main interest of the lab is centered on the understanding of nucleic acid recognition in the context of autoimmunity and in particular on the potential clinical benefit of interfering with nucleic acid signaling in human diseases. We are using both human and mouse approaches and have been focusing on the impact that the recognition of self nucleic-acid has on end-organ damage with a particular interest in diseases that affect the skin, such as scleroderma or systemic lupus erythematosus. The lab is also interested in how the skin micro-environment can impact cellular responses, both in normal and pathogenic situations. Most projects benefit from close collaborations with clinicians from the hospital who provides samples and expertise.

Research Interests

Autoimmune diseases (scleroderma, lupus)
Infectious diseases (COVID-19)
Toll-like receptors (TLRs)
Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs)
Type I Interferons

Extramural Grant Funding

National Institute of Health
Scleroderma Research Foundation
Scleroderma Foundation
HSS Research Institute


Research Institute
Autoimmunity and Inflammation



Michael R. Bloomberg Chair, Hospital for Special Surgery
Senior Scientist, Hospital for Special Surgery
Member, David Z. Rosensweig Center for Genomics Research, Hospital for Special Surgery
Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Weill Cornell Medical College
Faculty of the Immunology & Microbial Pathogenesis Graduate Program, Weill Cornell Medical College


Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Weill Cornell Medical College of the University of Cornell
Immunology & Microbial Pathogenesis Graduate Program, Weill Cornell Medical College of the University of Cornell


Postdoctoral fellow, DNAX Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA
Ph.D. in Immunology at University of Paris Diderot, France
Master's Degree (DEA) in Immunology at the Pasteur Institute, France
Master's Degree in Pharmacology (Magistère) at University of Nice, France
Bachelor's Degree in Biochemistry at University of Nice, France



Publications by Dr. Barrat

Selected Journal Articles

Laurent P., Yang C., Rendeiro A.F., Nilsson-Payant B.E., Carrau L., Chandar V., tenOever B.R., Elemento O., Ivashkiv L.B., Schwartz R.E.  and  Barrat F.J. ( 2022) Sensing of SARS-CoV-2 by pDCs and their subsequent production of IFN-I contributes to macrophage induced cytokine storm during COVID-19.  Sci. Immunol.7(75):eadd4906.

Chaudhary V., Ah Kioon M.D., Hwang S.M., Mishra B., Lakin K., Kirou K.A., Zhang-Sun J., Wiseman R.L., Spiera R.F., Crow M.K., Gordon J.K., Cubillos-Ruiz J.R.  and  Barrat F.J. ( 2022). Chronic Activation of pDCs in Autoimmunity is linked to Dysregulated ER Stress and Metabolic responses.  J. Exp. Med.219(11):e20221085 .

Yang C., Bachu M., Du Y., Brauner C., Yuan R., Ah Kioon M.D., Chesi G.,  Barrat F.J. and Ivashkiv L.B. (2022). CXCL4 synergizes with TLR8 for TBK1-IRF5 activation, epigenomic remodeling and inflammatory response in human monocytes.  Nat. Commun.  13(1):3426.

Du Y., Ah Kioon M.D., Laurent P., Chaudhary V., Pierides M., Yang C., Oliver D., Ivashkiv L.B.  and  Barrat F.J. ( 2022). Chemokines form nanoparticles with DNA and can superinduce TLR-driven immune inflammation.  J. Exp. Med.219(7):e20212142.

Ah Kioon M.D., Pierides M., Pannelini T., Lin G., Nathan C.F. and Barrat F.J. (2021). Non-cytotoxic Inhibition of the Immunoproteasome Regulates Human Immune Cells in vitro and Suppresses Cutaneous Inflammation in the Mouse. J Immunol. 206:1631-1641.

Barrat F.J., Crow M.K. and Ivashkiv L.B. (2019). Interferon target gene expression and epigenomic signatures in health and disease. Nat.Immunol. 20:1574-83

Barrat F.J. and Su L. (2019). A Pathogenic Role of Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells in Autoimmunity and Chronic Viral Infection. J. Exp. Med. 216:1974-85

Ah Kioon M.D., Tripodo C., Fernandez D., Kirou K.A., Spiera R.F., Crow M.K., Gordon J.K. and Barrat F.J. (2018). Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells Promote Systemic Sclerosis with a Key Role for TLR8. Science Transl Med. 10(423).

Guiducci C., Tripodo C., Gong M., Sangaletti S., Colombo M.P., Coffman R.L. and Barrat F.J. (2010). Autoimmune skin inflammation is dependent on plasmacytoid dendritic cell activation by nucleic acids via TLR7 and TLR9. J. Exp. Med. 207:2931-42

Guiducci C., Gong M., Xu Z., Gill M., Chaussabel D., Meeker T., Chan J.H., Wright T., Punaro M., Bolland S., Soumelis V., Banchereau J., Coffman R.L., Pascual V. and Barrat F.J. (2010). TLR Recognition of Self Nucleic Acids Hampers Glucocorticoids Activity in lupus. Nature. 465:937-41

Industry Relationships

Industry Relationships

One of the goals of HSS is to advance the science of orthopedic surgery, rheumatology, and related disciplines for the benefit of patients. Research staff at HSS may collaborate with outside companies for education, research and medical advances. HSS supports this collaboration in order to foster medical breakthroughs; however, HSS also believes that these collaborations must be disclosed.

As part of the disclosure process, this website lists Research staff collaborations with outside companies if the Research staff member received any payment during the prior year or expects to receive any payment in the next year. The disclosures are based on information provided by the Research staff and other sources and are updated regularly. Current ownership interests and leadership positions are also listed. Further information may be available on individual company websites.

Below are the healthcare industry relationships reported by Dr. Barrat as of March 28, 2023.

  • AstraZeneca - Consultant
  • Dynavax Technologies - Ownership Interest
  • IpiNovyx Bio - Ownership Interest; Research Support
  • Lupus Research Alliance - Consultant
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Honoraria
  • NYU School of Medicine - Advisory Board

By disclosing the collaborations of HSS Research staff with industry on this website, HSS and its Research staff make this information available to patients and the public, thus creating a transparent environment for those who are interested in this information. Further, the HSS Conflicts of Interest Policy does not permit payment of royalties on products developed by him/her that are used on patients at HSS.

Feel free to ask the Research staff member about their relationship(s).

Dr. Barrat in the News