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Fenna Sillé, PhD

  • Assistant Professor

Departmental Affiliations

Contact Information

615 N. Wolfe Street
Room E7628
Baltimore, Maryland 21205



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PhD, Utrecht University/Harvard Institutes of Medicine, 2010
MS, University of Groningen, 2004


The focus of my research group is to understand the effects of environmental exposures on the development and function of our immune system.

Major research directions:

1. Understanding the long-term effects of early-life and/or chronic arsenic exposures on immunity and infectious disease as well as cancer risk. - Currently studying the effects of arsenic on tuberculosis, influenza and cancer risk.

2. Establishing an integrated platform for immunotoxicity testing of early-life chemical exposures.

3. Investigating the effects chronic as well as early-life exposures on immunological memory and vaccine efficacy.

4. Investigating the "immunome" in collaborative exposome studies.

Honors and Awards

2018-2019, Science Communication Fellowship, Advancing Green Science

2016, Society of Toxicology, Immunotoxicology Specialty Section Best Presentation by a Postdoctoral Trainee Award for presentation on: "Long-term effects of early-life arsenic exposure on innate immunity"

2015-2016, NIEHS K99 NIH Pathway to Independence Award entitled “Long-term Effects of Early-Life Arsenic Exposure on Immunity” (NIEHS - K99ES024808 start date: 9/1/2015)

2015, NorCal Society of Toxicology, Postdoctoral Achievement Award

2015, Society of Toxicology, HESI Young Investigator Endowment Award

2005-2007, Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds PhD Fellowship

2003, Groningen University Fund: Award for international fellowship

2003, Marco Polo Fund, Groningen University: Award for international fellowship

  • Immunology
  • Immunotoxicology
  • Arsenic
  • Environmental Health
  • Early-life exposures
  • Metabolomics
  • Infectious Diseases: Tuberculosis, Influenza
  • Immunological Memory
  • Vaccine efficacy
  • Cancer

Selected publications:

  • Rychlik KA, Sillé FCM, (2019). Environmental Exposures During Pregnancy: Mechanistic Effects on Immunity. Birth Defects Research. 2019 Mar 1;111(4):178-196. doi: 10.1002/bdr2.1469. Epub 2019 Feb 1. Review. PMID: 30708400
  • Daniels SI, Sillé FCM, Goldbaum A, Yee B, Key E, Zhang L, Smith MT, Thomas R. (2014). Improving power to detect changes in blood miRNA expression by accounting for sources of variability in experimental designs. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. 23(12):2658-66. PMID: 25472674; PMCID: PMC4256675
  • Sillé FCM, Conde L, Zhang J, Akers NK, Sanchez S, Maltbaek J, Riby JE, Smith MT and Skibola CF. (2014). Follicular lymphoma-protective HLA class II variants correlate with increased HLA-DQB1 protein expression. Genes and Immunity. 15(2):133-6. 1-4. 10.1038/gene.2013.64. PMID: 24304973; NIHMSID: NIHMS547241
  • Skibola CF, Conde L, Foo JN, Riby J, Humphreys K, Sillé FCM, Darabi H, Sanchez S, Hjalgrim H, Liu J, Bracci PM, Smedby KE. (2012). A meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies of follicular lymphoma. BMC Genomics. 13:516. 10.1186/1471-2164-13-516. PMID: 23025665; PMCID: PMC3534234
  • Sillé FCM, Thomas R, Smith MT, Conde L, Skibola CF. (2012). Post-GWAS functional characterization of susceptibility variants for chronic lymphocytic leukemia. PLoS ONE. 7(1):e29632. 10.1371/journal.pone.0029632. PMID: 22235315; PMCID: PMC3250464