Julie K. Olson
Julie K. Olson, PhD
Associate Professor of Diagnostic and Biological Sciences
  • : (612) 626-6304
:(612) 626-2651

University of Minnesota


BS in Microbiology University of Wisconsin-La Crosse 1989-1993
Ph.D. in Microbiology 1993-1998 The University of Iowa 1993-1998




Research Interest

  • Virus infection
  • Theiler’s murine encephalomyelitis virus
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Immune response
  • Neuroimmunology


Professional Activities:



1998-2002 Postdoctoral Fellow /Research Associate The Feinberg School of Medicine Northwestern University
2003-2005 Assistant Professor The Feinberg School of Medicine Northwestern University
2005-2013 Assistant Professor Department of Neurological Surgery University of Wisconsin
2013-Present Associate Professor College of Veterinary Medicine University of Minnesota


Fellowship Grants:

  • NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) for Postdoctoral Fellowship in Neurological Diseases NS10893, 1999-2002
  • Paralyzed Veterans of America Spinal Cord Research Foundation
  • Grant SCRF 2046, 1999-2001
  • NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship Training Grant, 1998-1999

Research Grants:

  • National Multiple Sclerosis Society RG3629, 2002- 2007
  • National Multiple Sclerosis Society RG3625, 2005- 2010
  • National Multiple Sclerosis Society PP1673, 2009- 2013
  • Center for AIDS Research, 2014-2016

Professional Awards:

  • Outstanding Neuroscience Research Fellow, Northwestern University 2002
  • American Association of Immunologists Junior Scientist Award at the
  • International Congress on Immunology, Stockholm, Sweden 2002
  • Junior Faculty Award for Research Excellence, Northwestern University 2004
  • American Association of Immunologists Junior Faculty Award 2006
  • American Association of Immunologists Junior Faculty Award 2009
  • American Association of Immunologists Junior Faculty Award 2010
  • American Association of Immunologists Junior Faculty Award 2011
  • American Association of Immunologists Early Career Faculty Award 2013

University Service:

  • University of Wisconsin Faculty Senator (District 101), 2006-2013
  • Admission committee for the Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Program at University of Wisconsin- Madison, 2009-2013
  • Research Committee for Comparative Medicine, University of Minnesota, 2014-
  • Strategic Planning Committee College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, 2015-


  1. Penm, S., Young, T., and J.K. Olson. 2016. Exosomes secreted during virus infection activate bystander cells via the innate immune response. J. Immunol. Submitted.
  2. Hall, S.D., E.A. Thompson, and J.K. Olson. 2016. CD11b+Ly6C+ cells expanded during Theiler’s virus infection of susceptible mice suppress T cell responses. J. Immunol. Submitted.
  3. Boontanrart, M., S.D. Hall, J.C. Spanier, C.E. Hayes, and J.K. Olson. 2016.  Vitamin D3 alters microglia activation in an IL-10 dependent manner. J. Neuroimmunol. In Press.
  4. Fields, D.P., J.J.D. White, D.K. Resnick, and J.K. Olson. 2016.  Ghrelin limits central nervous system immunopathology through an IL-10 dependent suppression of microglia activity. Glia. Submitted.
  5. J.K. Olson. 2014. Effect of the innate immune response on development of Theiler’s murine encephalomyelitis virus- induced demyelinating disease.  J. Neurovirol. 20(5):427-36.
  6. Bowen, J.L.  and J.K. Olson.  2013. IFN-gamma influences type I interferon response and susceptibility to Theiler’s virus-induced demyelinating disease. Virol Immunol. 26(4):223-38. PMID:23829778.
  7. Schomberg, D., M. Ahmed, G. Miranpuri, J.K. Olson, and D. Resnick. 2012. Neuropathic pain: role of inflammation, immune response, and ion channel activity in central injury mechanisms. Ann. Neurosci. 19(3):125-132.
  8. Y-P Liu, L. Zeng, A. Tian, A. Bomkamp, D. Rivera, D. Gutman, G.N. Barber, J.K. Olson, J. A. Smith. 2012. Endoplasmic reticulum stress regulates the innate immunity critical transcription factor interferon regulatory factor 3.  J. Immunol.189:4630-4369. PMID:23028052.
  9. Spanier, J.A.,F.E. Nashold, J.K. Olson, and C.E. Hayes. 2012. IFN gene is essential for VDR gene expression and vitamin D3 mediated reduction of the pathogenic T cell burden in the central nervous system in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, a multiple sclerosis model.  J. Immunol. 189(6):3188-97.
  10. Schomberg. D. and J.K. Olson. 2011. Immune responses of microglia in the spinal cord: Contribution to pain states.  Exp. Neurology.234:262-270.
  11. Liu, Y., D.B. Kintner, V. Chanana, X. Chen, J. Algharabli, P. Ferrazzano, J.K. Olson, D. Sun. 2010. Activation of microglia depends on Na+/H+ exchange-mediated H+ homeostasis.  J. Neurosci. 30:15210-15220.
  12. Olson, J.K. 2010.  Immune response by microglia in the spinal cord.  Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 1198:271-278.
  13. Bowen, J.L. and J.K. Olson. 2009. Innate immune CD11b+Gr-1+ cells, suppressor cells, affect the immune response during Theiler’s virus- induced demyelinating disease.  J. Immunol. 183:6971-6980.
  14. Olson, J.K. and S.D. Miller. 2009. The innate immune response affects the development of the autoimmune response in Theiler’s virus- induced demyelinating disease.  J. Immunol.182:5712-5722.
  15. Olson, J.K. and S.D. Miller. 2006.  The role of T cells and the innate immune system in Theiler’s virus model of MS. Experimental Models of Multiple Sclerosis. ed. E. Lavi and C.S. Constantinescu. Springer Berlin Heidelberg New York.
  16. Olson, J.K., J.L. Croxford, H.A. Anger, and S.D. Miller. 2005. Initiation and exacerbation of autoimmune demyelination of the central nervous system via virus-induced molecular mimicry: implications for the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis. J. Virol. 79: 8581-90.
  17. Olson, J.K., Ercolini A., and S.D. Miller. 2005. A virus-induced molecular mimicry model of multiple sclerosis. Curr Top Microbiol and Immunol. 296:39-53.
  18. Carpentier, P.A., J.K. Olson, A. Elhofy, W.J. Karpus, and S.D. Miller.  2005. Differential activation of astrocytes by innate and adaptive immune stimuli.  Glia. 49: 360-74.
  19. Olson, J.K. and S.D. Miller. 2004.  Activation through toll-like receptors leads to antigen presentation by microglia.  J. Immunol. 15 :3916-24.
  20. Olson, J.K., J.L. Croxford, and S.D. Miller. 2004. Innate and adaptive immune requirements for induction of autoimmune demyelinating disease by molecular mimicry. Mol. Immunol. 40: 1103-1108.
  21. Fuller, K.G., J.K. Olson, L.M. Howard, J.L. Croxford, and S.D. Miller. 2004. Methods for induction and analysis of mouse models of multiple sclerosis: experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and Theiler’s virus-induced demyelinating disease. Autoimmunity: Methods in Molecular Medicine. 102: 339-61.  
  22. Olson, J.K., L.J. Croxford, and S.D. Miller. 2003.  Virus induced molecular mimicry in multiple sclerosis model.  ASM News. 69: 432-37.
  23. Olson, J.K., S.S. Zamvil, and S.D. Miller. 2003. Efficient technique for immortalization of murine microglial cells relevant for studies in murine models of multiple sclerosis. J. Neurosci. Meth. 128: 33-43.
  24. Olson, J.K., T.N. Eagar, and S.D. Miller.  2002.  Functional activation of myelin-specific T cells by virus-induced molecular mimicry.  J. Immunol. 169:2719-2726.
  25. Olson, J.K., L.J. Croxford, and S.D. Miller. 2002. Epitope spreading and molecular mimicry as triggers of autoimmunity in the Theiler's virus-induced demyelinating disease model of multiple sclerosis. Autoimmun Rev. 1(5):251-60.
  26. Olson, J. K., L. J. Croxford, and S. D. Miller.  2001.  Virus-induced autoimmunity:  Potential role of viruses in initiation, perpetuation and progression of T cell-mediated autoimmune disease.  Viral Immunol.14(3)227-250.
  27. Olson, J. K., M. A. Calenoff, M. C. Dal Canto, and S. D. Miller.  2001.  A virus-induced molecular mimicry model of multiple sclerosis.  J. Clin. Invest.  108(2):311-318.
  28. Rasley, A., J.K. Olson, K.L. Bost, S.D. Miller, and I. Marriott. 2001. Expression of functional NK-1 receptor in murine microglia.  Glia 37(3):258-267
  29. Olson, J. K., A. M. Girvin, and S. D. Miller.  2001.  Direct activation of innate and antigen presenting functions of microglia following infection with Theiler’s virus.  J. Virol.  75(20):9780-978
  30. Begolka, W. S., L. M. Haynes, J. K. Olson, J. Padilla, K. L. Neville, M. C. Dal Canto, J. P. Palma, B. S. Kim, and S. D. Miller.  2001.  CD8-deficient SJL mice display enhanced susceptibility to Theiler’s virus infection and increased demyelinating pathology.  J. Neurovirol. 7(5):409-420.
  31. Olson, J.K. and S.D. Miller. 2001. Myelin protein-specific CD4+ T cell response in virus-induced molecular mimicry model for multiple sclerosis.  Scand. J. Immunol. 54 (Sup1): 63.
  32. Miller, S. D., J. K. Olson, and L. J. Croxford.  2001.  Multiple pathways to induction of virus-induced autoimmune demyelination:  Lessons from Theiler’s virus infection.  J. Autoimmunity. 16:219-227.
  33. Katz-Levy, Y., K. L. Neville, J. Padilla, S. M. Rahbe, W. S. Begolka, A. M. Girvin, J.K. Olson, C. L. Vanderlugt, and S. D. Miller.  2000.  Temporal development of autoreactive Th1 responses and endogenous presentation of self myelin epitopes by CNS-resident APCs in Theiler’s virus-infected mice.  J. Immunol.  165:5304-5314. 
  34. Olson, J.K. and C. Grose. 1998. Varicella-zoster virus glycoprotein gE: endocytosis and trafficking of the Fc receptor. J. Infect. Dis. 178(Suppl 1):S2-6
  35. Olson, J.K. and C. Grose. 1998. Complex formation facilitates endocytosis of the varicella-zoster virus gE:gI Fc receptor. J. Virol. 72:1542-1551.
  36. Olson, J.K. and C. Grose. 1997. Endocytosis and recycling of varicella-zoster virus Fc receptor glycoprotein gE: internalization mediated by a YXXL motif in the cytoplasmic tail. J.Virol. 71: 4042-4054.
  37. Olson, J.K., G.A. Bishop, and C. Grose. 1997. Varicella-zoster virus Fc receptor gE glycoprotein: serine/threonine and tyrosine phosphorylation of monomeric and dimeric forms. J. Virol. 71: 110-119.