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Diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and type-1 diabetes occur when immune responses are directed at the body’s own cells and tissues.  Investigation in this area involves detailed analysis of the molecular mechanisms underlying the autoimmune response and the development of novel therapeutic and preventative measures for these often fatal diseases.  Recent advances suggest that cellular reagents, such as tolerogenic dendritic cells, may have the potential to inhibit immune responses to autoantigens expressed and presented by these cells.

Participating Faculty and Lab

Partha Biswas, Ph.D.
Cytokines in autoimmune disorders with a particular interest in IL-17 and IL-21; Biology of Th17 cells and T Follicular helper cells; Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA); Identify novel therapeutic targets in SLE and RA

Patrizia Fuschiotti, Ph.D.
Autoimmunity; Tc1/Tc2 differentiation; IL-13/IL-13 receptors expression and function; mechanisms of fibrosis.

Sarah Gaffen, Ph.D.
Defining signal transduction mechanisms and biological function of IL-2 and IL-17 family cytokines, using in vitro and in vivo models

Nick Giannoukakis, Ph.D.
Gene and cell therapy for autoimmunity

Penelope A. Morel, M.D. 
Th1/Th2 regulation; autoimmunity; human NK cell biology.

Jon D. Piganelli, Ph.D. 
Use of metalloporphyrin-based superoxidedismutase mimics for Type I diabetesprevention

Mark Shlomchik, M.D., Ph.D.
Autoimmunity; Blood or Blood Products or Transfusions; Bone Marrow Transplantation; Immunobiology; Immunology; Immunopathology; Immunotherapy; Lymphocytes; Transgenic Animals

Abbe N. Vallejo, Ph.D.
Immunology of aging; biology of inflammation

Dario Vignali, Ph.D.
Autoimmune Diseases: Type 1 Diabetes; mechanisms that regulate T cell islet entry and diabetogenicity and studies on EAE.