Faculty Profile

Mandy Ford, PfD

Mandy L. Ford, PhD

Professor, Division of Transplantation, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine

Scientific Director, Emory Transplant Center

Training Faculty, Graduate Program in Immunology and Molecular Pathogenesis, Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Emory University

Telephone: 404.727.2900

Email: mandy.ford@emory.edu

Year Joined Emory as a Faculty Member: 2007


Dr. Ford is a leading researcher in the study of the cellular mechanisms of T cell responses in transplantation and immunosuppression, and her work is funded by various federal, foundation, and industry grant awards. She was a vital member of the Emory research team led by Dr. Christian Larsen and Dr. Thomas Pearson that helped develop belatacept as a successful new class of immunosuppressant. The sophisticated research strategies and techniques she brought to the team were integral to its success in showing that belatacept could provide patients with a less toxic treatment and a better chance for long-term function and survival of the transplanted organ.

Dr. Ford is a vital member of the Emory research team currently spearheading new efforts to develop novel third-generation costimulation blockers as better and less toxic immunosuppression in clinical transplantation. Based on her foundational studies in experimental transplant models over the last 10 years in collaboration with Dr. Andrew Adams, this Emory team — composed of Dr. Ford, Dr. Adams, and Dr. Larsen — was awarded a $5.6M NIH grant to fund a clinical trial of the costimulation blocker lulizumab in 2018.

Dr. Ford's current portfolio includes two NIH R01s, several private foundation grants, the Emory Transplant Center's T32 training grant, and two R01-funded collaborative studies with Emory surgical critical care surgeon-scientist Dr. Craig Coopersmith. The studies with Dr. Coopersmith are investigating the impact of chronic alcohol abuse on the pathophysiology of sepsis, and the roots of the systemic immune dysregulation that switches on the immune suppression that is a major contributor to sepsis-induced mortality.


View Dr. Ford's publications in PubMed.


  • BS, Magna Cum Laude with Honors in Genetics, University of Georgia, 1999

  • PhD, Immunology and Molecular Pathogenesis, Emory University, 2004

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Emory Transplant Center, 2004-2007

Honors and Fellowships

  • Basic Science Investigator Award, American Society of Transplantation, 2019

  • Fellow, American Society of Transplantation, 2016

  • American Society of Transplantation Young Investigator Award, 2009

  • Emory University Research Council Award, 2008

  • Emory University Surgery Research Symposium Award, 2007

  • American Society of Transplantation Young Investigator Award, 2007

  • Emory University Surgery Research Symposium Award, 2005

  • American Society of Transplantation Research Grant, 2005-2007

  • National Kidney Foundation Basic Research Fellowship, 2005

  • NIH National Research Service Award, 2004-2007

  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, 2000-2003

  • Howard Hughes Undergraduate Research Training, 1998

  • Charter Merit Scholarship, University of Georgia, 1996-1999

Editorships and Editorial Boards

  • Associate Editor, American Journal of Transplantation

  • Associate Editor, Journal of Immunology

Current Organizational Memberships

  • The Transplantation Society, Women in Transplantation Mentoring Scheme, Mentor

  • American Society of Transplantation: Fellow, TIRN Grants Review Committee

  • American Association of Immunologists

  • Transplantation and Immunology Network

Research Focus

  • Cellular mechanisms of induction and modulation of allospecific T cell responses