William T. Shearer, MD, PhD

Department or Service


  • Texas Medical Center


Allergy and Immunology

Phone: 832-824-1319
Fax: 832-825-1260

Contact Information

6621 Fannin Street
9th Floor
Houston, TX 77030
United States

Professor of Pediatrics and Immunology

Baylor College of Medicine


School Education Degree Year
Washington University School of Medicine fellowship Allergy and Immunology 1974
Washington University School of Medicine residency Pediatrics 1972
Washington University School of Medicine medical school Doctor of Medicine 1970
Indiana University School of Medicine fellowship Chemistry 1967
Wayne State University postgraduate education Doctor of Philosophy 1966


I have been involved in the clinical investigation of patients with primary and secondary immunodeficiency diseases for 40 years and have been involved in bone marrow and cord blood stem cell transplants for severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). The David Center, named for "David the Bubble Boy", has over 250 patients with serious forms of immunodeficiency. We currently use whole genome sequencing as another means of diagnosing primary immunodeficiency that complements our molecular diagnosis. The Baylor clinical site is a founding member of the Pediatric Immune Deficiency Transplant Consortium, the first multicenter National Institutes of Health (NIH)-supported clinical trials group for immunoreconstitution of SCID children. With hematology/oncology colleagues, our clinical site transplants 15-20 SCID patients per year with hematopoietic stem cells from bone marrow, peripheral blood, and cord blood with a survival rate of 100% for matched relative transplants and 70-85% survival rate for other donor transplants.

In 1987 I became involved in pediatric AIDS research with the NIH and have had continuous support for clinical trials, natural history studies, laboratory investigations, and the AIDS training program. I have served on numerous committees including vice-chair of the Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group, and chair of the publications, policy and procedures, conflict of interest, and laboratory committees for several NIH HIV programs. For 20 years, I was the director of the clinical core of the Center for AIDS Research for Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Texas in Houston, TX. Through my participation in the Women and Infants Transmission Study and the Pediatric HIV/AIDS Cohort Study research programs came a new approach for the study of pulmonary complications of HIV infection in children and young adults. In this 2,664 study of HIV-infected and HIV-exposed uninfected patients there was an increased incidence and prevalence of asthma that followed the restoration of immunity by highly active antiretroviral therapy. This treatment-induced immunoreconstitution has been related to the appearance of asthma as well as the inheritance of certain HLA-A and HLA-C antigens expressed on antigen presenting cells. The significance of this work lies in the potential for the identification of hallmark natural killer cell biomarkers that clinicians may use to amend and improve their therapeutic strategies for HIV patient care.


Organization Name Role
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Past Board Member
American Society for Clinical Investigation Electoral Member
Association of American Physicians Electoral Member
Clinical Immunology Society Past President
Washington University Ethan Shepley Trustee

Selected Publications

Shearer WT, Ritz J, Finegold MJ, Guerra IC, Rosenblatt HM, Lewis DE, Pollack MS, Taber LH, Sumaya CV, Grumet FC, Cleary M, Warnke R, Sklar J. Epstein-Barr virus-associated B cell proliferations of diverse clonal origins after bone marrow transplantation in a 12-year-old patient with severe combined immunodeficiency. New England Journal ofMedicine 1985;312:1151-1159.