David Kim Burnham

Associate Professor



Doctor of Philosophy. Immunology, 1984 University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX . Master of Science. Microbiology, 1979 Brigham Young Univ., Provo, UT. Bachelor of Science. Microbiology, 1976. Brigham Young Univ., Provo, UT.


1993 to present. Associate Professor of Microbiology, Oklahoma State University. 1991 to present. Co-director of the Hybridoma Center for the Agricultural and Biological Sciences, Oklahoma State Univ. 1988 to 1993. Assistant Professor of Microbiology, Oklahoma State University. 1984 to 1988. Post-Doctoral Fellow. The University of Utah Medical Center.

Current Research

The skin represents a major site of interaction between higher organisms and their external environment. Therefore, it is not surprising that mammalian skin contains all of the components necessary for the destruction and removal of bacteria, viruses and cancerous tissue. Collectively, these components have been termed skin associated lymphoid tissue (SALT).

Specialized cells within the skin, termed Langerhans cells, carry foreign substances to lymph nodes below the skin in order to stimulate immune responses that will ultimately remove these substances.

We are interested in proteins that control the migration of Langerhans cells and their capacity to stimulate immune responses. Our current focus is on a protein called endothelial monocyte-activating polypeptide II (EMAP II) that is released from dying cells. We have become the first group to show that this protein attracts Langerhans cells. We are currently examining the effect of this protein on the capacity of Langerhans cells to stimulate immune responses. Our hypothesis is that EMAP II may play an important role in down-regulating responses to self antigens and preventing autoimmunity such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus erythematosis.


Recent Publications

Burnham, K., Robb, L., Scott, C., Okeeffe, M. and K. Shortman. 2000. Effect of granulocyte/macrophage colony stimulating factor on the generation of epidermal Langerhans cells, J Interferon & Cytokine Res 20:1071.

Henri S, Vremec D, Kamath A, Waithman J, Williams S, Benoist C, Burnham K, Saeland S, Handman E, and K. Shortman. 2001. The dendritic cell populations of mouse lymph nodes, J. Immunol 167:741-748.

Rhee, Y.S., Hermann, J.R., Burnham, K., Aruitt, A.B. and B.J. Stoecker. 2002. The effects of chromium and copper supplementation on mitogen-stimulated T cell proliferation in hypercholesterolemic postmenopausal women. Clin. Exp. Immunol. 127:463-469.

Burnham DK, Lackey A, Manering M, Jaensson E, Pearson J, Tyler DO, Melson D and LG Talent. 2003. Effects of 17-ethinylestradiol on immune parameters in the lizard Sceloporus occidentalis. Environ Toxicol 18:211-218.

Rhee, Y.S., Burnham, K., Stoecker, B.J., Lucas E. and R.A. Givens. 2004. Effects of chromium and copper depletion on immune function in BHE/cdb rats. Nutr. Sci. 20:274-279.

Burnham, DK, Keall, SN, Nelson, NJ and CH Daugherty. T cell function in tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus). 2005. Compar. Immunol. Microbiol. & Infect. Diseases 28:213-222.

Burnham, DK, Keall, SN, Nelson MJ and CH Daugherty. Effects of sampling date, gender, and tick burden on peripheral blood cells of captive and wild tuatara Sphenodon punctatus. 2006.  New Zealand J. of Zool. 33:241-248.

Haridas, S, Bowers, M, Tusano, J, Kirkpatrick, M, Mehojah, J and DK Burnham. The impact of Meth a fibrosarcoma derived EMAP II on dendritic cell migration. 2008. Cytokine 44:304.