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About Paul W. Denton

Immediately prior to joining the Biology Faculty at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in June 2019, I had the pleasure of participating in the conduct of exciting and fast-paced clinical trials centered in the Aarhus University Infectious Diseases Department in Aarhus, Denmark. The focus of these studies was on understanding the impact of immunotherapies on immunity as well as diseased cell persistence in HIV positive individuals. I also have extensive pre-clinical research experience gained while utilizing humanized mice to study multiple aspects of HIV disease including the use of immunotoxins as immunotherapy against persistent diseased cells. Overall, the translational nature of my research experiences over many years together with my hands-on experiences utilizing immunotherapies to modulate human immunity have positioned me well for establishing a robust immunobiology research program here at UNO.
Research Interests
Cancer treatment outcomes have radically improved in recent years. The incorporation of immunotherapies into oncology treatments is a major contributing factor in these improved outcomes. Immunotherapy is treatment intended to modulate immune system activity in response to disease. The benefits of cancer immunotherapy were notably recognized with the awarding of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Drs. Honjo and Allison. Yet, there remain critical barriers to achieving successful immunotherapies for the majority of cancer patients. To help overcome these barriers, my research group is focused on improving immunotherapies to treat malignancies. Our approach is to develop and validate novel combination immunotherapy strategies to functionally improve natural killer (NK) cells’ capacity for destroying cancer cells either directly or via antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity. Furthermore, responses to immunotherapies are not universal in patients as some individuals have great clinical responses and outcomes while others may experience hyper-progression and rapid clinical decline. Therefore, our research group is also striving to provide important mechanistic insights that to help explain these differential responses to immunotherapy between individuals.


Present Assistant Professor of Biology, University of Nebraska at Omaha Biology
2014 - 2019 Associate Professor, Aarhus University ‐ Clinical Medicine
2009 - 2013 Instructor, University of North Carolina ‐ Internal Medicine
2008 - 2009 Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
2002 - 2007 Doctor of Philosophy Candidate, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
2001 - 2002 Research Specialist, University of North Dakota
1998 - 2001 Research Technician, University of North Dakota


2017 - 2018 Lektor Starting Grant
Aarhus University Research Foundation - AUFF-E-2016-FLS-8-9
Role: Principle Investigator
2017 - 2018 Medical Student Research Year Support Grant for Frederik Rothemejer Jacobsen
Danish Council for Independent Research - DFF-7025-00022
“Impact of a TLR9 agonist on the functional capacity of NK cell subsets to inhibit HIV-1 propagation ex vivo”
Role: Principle Investigator
Colleague(s): Frederik Rothemejer Jacobsen
2017 - 2017 Funds to upgrade our microscope for fluorescence work
Toyota Foundation - KJ/BG-9306
Role: Principle Investigator
2016 - 2017 Medical Student Research Year Support Grant for Maria-Louise Røn Kobberø
Danish Council for Independent Research - DFF-6120-00017
“Infiltrating the stronghold of HIV during suppressive ART: Virological and immunological effects of TLR9-targeted immunotherapy in lymph nodes”
Role: Principle Investigator
Colleague(s): Maria-Louise Røn Kobberø
2015 - 2016 Medical Student Research Year Support Grant for Astrid Raaby Krarup
Danish Council for Independent Research - DFF-5053-00090
“MGN1703-induced intestinal HIV RNA and cytokine mRNA production changes in TEACH trial patient cohort”
Role: Principle Investigator
Colleague(s): Astrid Raaby Krarup
2012 - 2013 Advanced Biosciences Laboratories, Inc. for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health
National Institutes of Health
“Comprehensive Resources for HIV Microbicides and Biomedical Prevention”
Role: Principle Investigator
2008 - 2010 In vivo modeling of HIV persistence and its eradication”
Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) - 107183-44-RFRL/107752-44-RFRL
Role: Fellow
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Professional Service and Affiliations

2012 - Present Ad Hoc Reviewer, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, APMIS, Current Opinion in Virology, Immunology Letters, JCI I
2015 - 2019 Chairman of Multiple Postdoc Assessment Committees, Aarhus University, Denmark
2014 - 2018 Co-organizer and/or judge at annual Aarhus Academy for Global Education Science, Aarhus, Denmark
2010 - 2013 Site Master, GammaCell 40 Cesium Irradiator in Genetic Medicine Building; University of North Carolina
2004 - 2005 Immunology Graduate Program Steering Committee Student Representative, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
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Honors and Awards

  • 2015-2016 Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS), Aarhus University Jens Christian Skou Fellow “HIV Latency in the Gastrointestinal Tract”
  • 2010 Recipient: International AIDS Society - International Scholarship Award to attend the IAS Pre-Conference Workshop “Towards a Cure”: HIV Reservoirs and Strategies to Control Them and AIDS 2010 – Vienna, Austria
  • 2008-2010 Recipient: National Institutes of Health Clinical Loan Repayment Program (LRP) award
  • 2009 American Society for Microbiology Kadner Institute: Preparation for Careers in Microbiology – University of Colorado at Boulder, July 18-22
  • 2009 Young Investigator Award – 2nd International Workshop on Humanized Mice – Amsterdam, Netherlands, April 3-6
  • 2009 Young Investigator Award – 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) – Montreal, Canada, February 8-11
  • 2008 Immunology Graduate Program Nominata Award Nominee – UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX
  • 2008 Young Investigator Award – 15th CROI – Boston, MA, February 3-6
  • 2007 Young Investigator Award – 14th CROI – Los Angeles, CA, February 25-28
  • 2003-2005 National Research Service Award – UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX Integrative Immunology Training Program – NIAID 5T32 AI005284


2008 PhD, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas ‐ Immunology
2001 MS, University of North Dakota ‐ Microbiology and Immunology
1997 BS, Southern Nazarene University ‐ Environmental Studies

Research Works (21)