Jean van Seventer

Jean M. van Seventer, VMD

Clinical Associate Professor, Environmental Health - Boston University School of Public Health


Dr. van Seventer started her professional career as a veterinary practitioner, while taking part in research projects at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Marine Biological Laboratory. She subsequently received fellowship training in pathology and immunology at Harvard Medical School and the National Cancer Institute. Dr. van Seventer started her career as an independent investigator in the Department of Pathology at the University of Chicago, and joined the Department of Environmental Health at Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) in 2000. Her research at BU concentrated on characterizing the molecular mechanisms by which the human innate immune response regulate subsequent adaptive immunity. Research studies primarily focused on the role of type I interferons (IFN), IFN-alpha and IFN-beta, in regulating human dendritic cell and T cell functions, with emphasis placed on translating basic research findings to autoimmune diseases (multiple sclerosis (MS) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)) and infectious diseases that result in septic shock.

In 2011, Dr. van Seventer turned her primary focus towards developing new curricula, new teaching strategies, and teaching courses in physiology and infectious diseases to students in the BUSPH, as well as to students in the joint BU Metropolitan College-College of Communication program, Online Master of Science in Health Communication. A particular teaching interest is in examining the role of the environment in infectious disease emergence and spread. Dr. van Seventer is director of the BUSPH Infectious Disease Certificate Program. She is also a co-leader of the Boston University Superfund Program Training Core, and a co-principal investigator of the Boston University Upward Bound Math and Science Program, a program whose purpose is to prepare low-income and first-generation college bound students for success in higher education. Current research is focused on identifying zoonotic pathways of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in southwest coastal Bangladesh. In collaboration with colleagues from the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) and Tufts University, Dr. van Seventer and colleagues are addressing the potential for animal husbandry practices to increase AMR risk in humans by exposing households to pond water containing antibiotics and multidrug-resistant bacteria of animal origin.


  • University of Pennsylvania, VMD Field of Study: Veterinary Science
  • Stanford University, BS Field of Study: Biology


  • Published on 1/1/2017

    van Seventer JM, Hochberg NS. In: Quah SR and Cockerham WC (eds.). The International Encyclopedia of Public Health. Principles of Infectious Diseases: Transmission, Diagnosis, Prevention, and Control. Academic Press. Oxford. 2017; 6:22-39.

  • Published on 1/1/2017

    van Seventer JM, Hamer DH. In: Quah SR and Cockerham WC (eds.). The International Encyclopedia of Public Health. Foodborne Diseases. Academic Press. Oxford. 2017; 3:160-173.

  • Published on 1/1/2010

    van Seventer JM, Hamer DH. In Hamer DH. Editor-in-chief. Griffiths JK, Heggenhougen HK, Maguire JH, and Quah SR, editors. Elsevier, San Diego, 2010. From seasonal to pandemic influenza. Infectious Disease and Public Health. Elsevier. San Diego. 2010; 394-405.

  • Published on 7/8/2009

    Green NM, Laws A, Kiefer K, Busconi L, Kim YM, Brinkmann MM, Trail EH, Yasuda K, Christensen SR, Shlomchik MJ, Vogel S, Connor JH, Ploegh H, Eilat D, Rifkin IR, van Seventer JM, Marshak-Rothstein A. Murine B cell response to TLR7 ligands depends on an IFN-beta feedback loop. J Immunol. 2009 Aug 1; 183(3):1569-76. PMID: 19587008.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 1/15/2009

    Richez C, Yasuda K, Watkins AA, Akira S, Lafyatis R, van Seventer JM, Rifkin IR. TLR4 ligands induce IFN-alpha production by mouse conventional dendritic cells and human monocytes after IFN-beta priming. J Immunol. 2009 Jan 15; 182(2):820-8. PMID: 19124725.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 1/1/2009

    van Seventer JM, DeLouiereo A, Hamer DH. Review. Emerging new infections: importance in child health. . 2009; (67):103-118.

  • Published on 6/1/2007

    Mangini AJ, Lafyatis R, Van Seventer JM. Type I interferons inhibition of inflammatory T helper cell responses in systemic lupus erythematosus. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2007 Jun; 1108:11-23. PMID: 17893966.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 3/1/2007

    York MR, Nagai T, Mangini AJ, Lemaire R, van Seventer JM, Lafyatis R. A macrophage marker, Siglec-1, is increased on circulating monocytes in patients with systemic sclerosis and induced by type I interferons and toll-like receptor agonists. Arthritis Rheum. 2007 Mar; 56(3):1010-20. PMID: 17328080.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 2/1/2007

    Nagai T, Devergne O, van Seventer GA, van Seventer JM. Interferon-beta mediates opposing effects on interferon-gamma-dependent Interleukin-12 p70 secretion by human monocyte-derived dendritic cells. Scand J Immunol. 2007 Feb; 65(2):107-17. PMID: 17257215.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 10/18/2006

    Meyers JA, Mangini AJ, Nagai T, Roff CF, Sehy D, van Seventer GA, van Seventer JM. Blockade of TLR9 agonist-induced type I interferons promotes inflammatory cytokine IFN-gamma and IL-17 secretion by activated human PBMC. Cytokine. 2006 Sep; 35(5-6):235-46. PMID: 17052915.

    Read At: PubMed

News & In the Media