Contact Dr. Chapes

239C Chalmers Hall
(785) 532-6795



Stephen K. Chapes

Associate Director, Johnson Center for Basic Cancer Research
Director, Undergraduate Support Core,
Kansas IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence
Secretary-Treasurer American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology

Ph.D., 1981, University of Illinois

Immunobiology of the macrophage; infectious disease
immunology; cell biology; gravitational biology.

Description of Research

Projects in my laboratory focus on macrophages, inflammatory cells and other white blood cells.  I am interested in the function of these cells, the role these cells have in infectious diseases and the impact of space flight on these cells.   Our current focus areas include:

1)         Experiments are currently in progress to determine how macrophage differentiation is altered by space flight or simulated microgravity.  My laboratory is using ground based models and space shuttle flights to make these determinations.

2)         My group has created mice lacking various combinations of macrophage response genes (e.g. MHCII, Tlr4, CD81 and Slc11a1).  We are using these mice to look at the impact of multiple gene defects to understand the host response to organisms like Pasteurella pneumotropica and Ehrlichia chaffeensis.  In particular, we are attempting to understand how the host immune response controls opportunistic microorganisms.

3)   We are currently attempting to understand how macrophage trafficking and function is influenced by adipose tissue using immunological, molecular and biochemical techniques.

4)   Our group is working to understand which host genes are necessary for intracellular growth of E. chaffeensis using the Drosophila melanogaster as a model system. 


View a video about Keith Chapes' research:

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View an article about Keith Chapes' research in Space Research, Vol. 2 No. 3, June 2003, P. 14-15, 25.

Selected Research Publications

Dib, L.H., M. T. Ortega, S.D. Fleming, S. K. Chapes* and T. L. Melgarejo*.  2014.  Bone Marrow Leptin Signaling Mediates Obesity-Associated Adipose Tissue Inflammation in Male Mice.  Endocrinology.  155:40-46. (PMID:24169547; PMC3868799) *Co-Sr. Investigators.  Also see the counterpoint article and rebuttal in Endocrinology, 155:12–14, 2014 (

Xie, L., Q. Fu, M. T. Ortega, L. Zhou, D. Rasmussen, J. O'Keefe, K.K. Zhang and S.K. Chapes. 2014. Overexpression of IL-10 in C2D macrophages promotes a macrophage phenotypic switch in adipose tissue environments.  PloS ONE 9(1):e86541.doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0086541 (PMID 24466141; PMC3897709).

Chapes, S.K. and M. T. Ortega. 2013.  Understanding macrophage differentiation during space flight: The importance of ground-based experiments before space flightRecent Patents on Space Technology 3:40-47. (PMID:24432200; PMC3890248). 

Chapes, S. K. and S. E. Velasquez. 2013. Assessment of the impact of the Kansas IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence program on undergraduate participation in researchJ. Microbiol. and Biology Education 14:47-57. (PMID:23858353; PMC3706165).

Chitko-McKown, C.G., S.K. Chapes, L.C. Miller, P.K. Riggs,  M.T. Ortega, B.T. Green and R.D. McKown.  2013. Development and characterization of two porcine monocyte-derived macrophage cell linesResults in Immunology 3:26-32. (PMID:23610747; PMC3631004). 

Drolia, R., T. Von Ohlen, S.K. Chapes.  2013.   Ehrlichia chaffeensis replication sites in adult Drosophila melanogasterInt. J. Med. Microbiology 303: 40– 49. (PMID:23306065;  PMC3558598) Also see the RNAi screening center blog (

Ortega, M.T., N. Lu, and S.K. Chapes.  2012. Evaluation of in vitro macrophage differentiation during space flightAdv. Space Research 49: 1441-1455.  (PMID:23420085; PMC3570223).  

Von Ohlen, T., A. Luce-Fedrow, M. T. Ortega, R. R. Ganta  and S. K. Chapes. 2012. Identification of critical host mitochondrion-associated genes during Ehrlichia chaffeensis infections. Infect. Immun.  80: 3576-3586.  (PMID:22851751; PMC3457586) Spotlighted Paper and Cover Feature

Ortega, M.T., L. Xie, S.Mora and S.K. Chapes.  2011. Evaluation of macrophage plasticity in brown and white adipose tissueCell. Immunol. 271:124-133.  (PMID: 21757190; PMC3168070).

Mordica W.J., R.J. Gallagher, J.L. Kennedy and S.K. Chapes.  2010.  Male Cd81 Knock-out Genotype Disrupts Mendelian Distribution of Offspring Comparative Med.  60(3):196-199. (PMID: 20579434; PMC2890394).

Xie L., M. T. Ortega, S. Mora, and S. K. Chapes.  2010.  Interactive changes between macrophages and adipocytesClin. Vaccine Immunol.  17:651-659. (PMID: 20164250; PMC2849320).

Baqai, F.P.,  D.S. Gridley, J.M. Slater, X. Luo-Owen, L.S. Stodieck, V.L. Ferguson, S. K. Chapes and M.J. Pecaut.  2009.  Effects of spaceflight on innate immune function and antioxidant gene expressionJ. Applied Physiol. 106:1935-42.  (PMID:19342437; PMC2692779).

Delandre, C., T.R. Penabaz, A.L. Passarelli, S.K. Chapes and R.J. Clem. 2009. Mutation of juxtamembrane cysteines in the tetraspanin CD81 affects palmitoylation and alters interaction with other proteins at the cell surfaceExp. Cell Res. 315:1953-1963. (PMID: 19328198; PMC2785499).

Luce-Fedrow, A., T.Von Ohlen, S.K. Chapes.  2009.  Ehrlichia chaffeensis infections in Drosophila melanogaster. Infect. Immun. 77:4815–4826.  (PMID: 19687202; PMC2772521).  Spotlighted Paper

Mordica, W.J.. K.M. Woods, R.J. Clem, A. L. Passarelli and S.K. Chapes.  2009. Macrophage cell lines use CD81 in cell growth regulationIn Vitro Cell and Developmental Biology 45:213–225 (PMID: 19184252; PMC3595608).

Luce-Fedrow, A., T.Von Ohlen, D. Boyle, R.R. Ganta, S.K. Chapes.  2008.  Use of Drosophila S2 cells as a model for studying Ehrlichia chaffeensis infectionsAppl. Environ. Microbiol.  74:1886-1891. 

Potts, B.E. and S.K. Chapes.  2008. Functions of C2D macrophage cells after adoptive transferJ. Leukocyte Biol.  83:602-609. 

Potts, B.E., M. L. Hart, L.L. Snyder, D. Boyle, D. A. Mosier and S.K. Chapes.  2008. Differentiation of C2D macrophage cells after adoptive transfer.  Clin. Vaccine Immunol. 15:243-252. 

Xie, L., C. P.  O'Reilly, S. K. Chapes and S. Mora. 2008.  Adiponectin and leptin are secreted through distinct trafficking pathways in adipocytes.  Biochemica, Biophysica, Acta.  1782:99-108.

R.R. Ganta, C. Cheng,  E.C. Miller, B.L. McGuire, and S.K. Chapes. 2007.  Differential clearance and immune responses to tick cell vs. macrophage culture-derived  Ehrlichia chaffeensis in mice.  Infect. Immun.  75:135-145.

Chapes, S.K. and R.R. Ganta.  2005.  Mouse Infection Models for Space Flight Immunology.  Adv. in Space Biol.and Medicine; Issue: Experimentation with Animal Models in Space,  Ed. by G. Sonnenfeld, Elsevier, New York.  pp. 81-104.

Armbrust, L., D.A. Mosier, E. Nelson, M.L. Hart, and S.K. Chapes.  2005.  Correlation of results of pulmonary computed tomography and pathologic findings in mice with Pasteurella-induced pneumoniaAm. J. Vet. Res. 66:835-838.

Chapes, S.K. 2004.  Lessons from Immune 1-3: What did we learn and what do we need to do in the future?  J. Gravitational. Physiol. 11(2):45‑48.

Ganta, R.R., C. Cheng, M.J. Wilkerson, and S.K. Chapes.  2004.  Delayed clearance of Ehrlichia chaffeensis infection in CD4+ T-cell knock out miceInfect. Immun. 72:159-167.

Hart, M.L., D.A. Mosier, and S.K. Chapes. 2003. Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)-positive macrophages protect mice from Pasteurella-induced pneumonia. Infect. Immun. 71(2):663-670.

Stewart, P.W. and S.K. Chapes. 2003. Role of major histocompatibility complex class II in resistance of mice to naturally acquired infection with Syphacia obvelata. Comparative Med. 53: 70-74.

Ganta, R.R., M.J. Wilkerson, C. Cheng, A.M. Rokey, and S.K. Chapes. 2002. Persistent Ehrlichia chaffeensis infection occurs in the absence of functional MHCII genes. Infect. Immun. 70: 380-388.

Simske, S.J., T.A. Bateman, E.E. Smith, V.L. Ferguson and S.K. Chapes. 2002. Effects of major histocompatibility complex class II knockout on mouse bone mechanical properties during development. Proceed. Biomed. Sci. Instrum. 38:47-52.

Chapes, S.K., D.A. Mosier, A.D. Wright, and M.L. Hart. 2001. MHCII, Tlr4 and Nramp1 genes control host pulmonary resistance against the opportunistic bacterium Pasteurella pneumotropica. J. Leukoc. Biol. 69:381-386.

Chapes, S.K.  A.D. Wright, and A.A. Beharka. 2001.  Superantigen activation of macrophages.  In: Staphylococcal Disease and Infection (Chapter 5), Ed by A.L. Honeyman, M. Bendinelli, H. Friedman, Kluwer Academic/Plenum Press. New York.  pp. 67-91.

Wright, A.D. and S.K. Chapes. 1999. Staphylococcal enterotoxin A bound to MHC class I requires cross linking for the induction of TNF-α. Cellular Immunol. 197:129-135.

Wright, A.D. and S.K. Chapes. 1999. LPS Sensitivity in recombinant mice lacking functional alleles at MHCII, Lps and Nramp1 genes. J. Endotoxin Res. 5:297-308.

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