Criscitiello, Michael individual record
Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies

My Comparative Immunogenetics Laboratory studies immunology, molecular genetics and evolution. Most of our group's research focuses on the natural history and future application of the vertebrate adaptive immune system, with particular attention given to the genetics of lymphocyte antigen receptors. Particular expertise lies in the evolution of vertebrate immunoglobulin loci, T cell receptor loci and the major histocompatibility complex. Additionally, we are interested in the evolution of diversification mechanisms at work there (e.g., recombination activating genes (RAG), activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID), and the high allelic polymorphism maintained by classical MHC genes). Most recently, we have been working on lymphocyte development in shark thymus that suggests plasticity across the B lymphocyte/T lymphocyte divide, immunoglobulin heavy and light chain isotype pairing in an amphibian system, immunogenetics in marine mammals of conservation importance, mucosal humoral immunity in diverse tetrapods and cattle antibodies with an unheralded domain extending for novel antigen binding possibilities.

selected publications
Academic Articles64
  • Dornburg, A., Ota, T., Criscitiello, M. F., Salinas, I., Sunyer, J. O., Magadán, S., ... Yoder, J. A. (2021). From IgZ to IgT: A Call for a Common Nomenclature for Immunoglobulin Heavy Chain Genes of Ray-Finned Fish. Zebrafish. 18(6), 343-345.
    doi badge
  • Kinlein, A., Janes, M. E., Kincer, J., Almeida, T., Matz, H., Sui, J., ... Ohta, Y. (2021). Analysis of shark NCR3 family genes reveals primordial features of vertebrate NKp30.. Immunogenetics. 73(4), 333-348.
    doi badge pubmed badge
  • Criscitiello, M. F. (2021). Unusual T cell receptor in opossum.. Science. 371(6536), 1308-1309.
    doi badge pubmed badge
  • Duckworth, E., Romoser, K. R., Ott, J. A., Deiss, T. C., Gulland, F., & Criscitiello, M. F. (2021). Using PacBio SMRT data for identification of class I MHC alleles in a wildlife species, Zalophus californianus (California sea lion).. Infect Genet Evol. 88, 104700-104700.
    doi badge pubmed badge
  • Ott, J. A., Ohta, Y., Flajnik, M. F., & Criscitiello, M. F. (2021). Lost structural and functional inter-relationships between Ig and TCR loci in mammals revealed in sharks.. Immunogenetics. 73(1), 17-33.
    doi badge pubmed badge
  • Vadnais, M. L., Criscitiello, M. F., & Smider, V. V. (2017). Antibodies from Other Species. Methods and Principles in Medicinal Chemistry. 85-112. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.
    doi badge
  • Criscitiello, M. F. (2014). Shark Immunoglobulin Light Chains. Immunobiology of the SHARK. 221-235. CRC Press.
    doi badge
  • Criscitiello, M. F. (2014). Shark T-Cell Receptors. Immunobiology of the SHARK. 237-248. CRC Press.
    doi badge
Conference Papers11
  • Mitchell, C. D., Marchand, A. J., Head, K., Haakenson, J. K., Kelley, A., Deiss, T. C., ... Criscitiello, M. F. (2021). Evolution of immunogenetic components used to form ultralong VH CDR3 antibodies in Bovidae. JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY. 206,
  • Criscitiello, M. F. (2020). Activation Induced Cytidine Deaminase and the Evolution of Antigen Receptor Immunogenetics. JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY. 204(1),
  • Mitchell, C. D., & Criscitiello, M. F. (2020). Code Blue: Nurse Cells Can Resuscitate Lymphocyte Receptors in Nurse Shark Thymus by Secondary Rearrangement. JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY. 204(1),
  • Ott, J. A., Harrison, J., Ota, Y., Flajnik, M. F., & Criscitiello, M. F. (2019). Somatic hypermutation of T cell receptor gamma, delta, and beta chains in nurse sharks. JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY. 202(1),
  • Ott, J. A., Castro, C., Deiss, T., Ota, Y., Flajnik, M. F., & Criscitiello, M. F. (2018). Somatic hypermutation of TCR alpha contributes to thymic positive selection in sharks. JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY. 200(1),
Repository Documents / Preprints1
  • Ghaffari, N., Sanchez-Flores, A., Doan, R., Garcia-Orozco, K. D., Chen, P. L., Ochoa-Leyva, A., ... Criscitiello, M. F. (2014). Novel transcriptome assembly and improved annotation of the whiteleg shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei), a dominant crustacean in global seafood mariculture. Scientific Reports.
    open access badge
chaired theses and dissertations
First Name
Last Name
mailing address
Texas A&M University; Vet Med Pathobiology; 4467 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-4467