Center for Excellence in Pulmonary Biology

Allergy & Clinical Immunology Research

Our research interests in the laboratory focus on the role of human T cells, specifically natural regulatory T cells (Treg) in immunological diseases. We aim to differentiate the mechanisms of action of regulatory T cell suppressive function in human disease like allergic asthma. We study how cells, such dendritic cells, affect Treg suppressive function with particular interest in looking at how the developing immune system, specifically T cells,  in children is affected by allergies and how we can turn off or prevent allergies from becoming chronic in adulthood. We also study chemokines, like lymphotactin, which enhance Treg suppressive function; thus potentially serving as a therapeutic modality since improvement of T reg function is associated with cure and treatment of allergies and asthma.

Our projects involve studying T cell functional mechanisms involved in the pathophysiology of human diseases such as allergic asthma, atopic dermatitis, systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and primary immunodeficiencies. At Stanford, our laboratory is in a unique position, compared to other institutions, to bring about translational scientific discoveries in these specific diseases since we have peripheral blood, tissue biopsies, and plasma from over 9 clinical studies occurring at Stanford. Our laboratory has many joint projects with other laboratories at Stanford such as the Mellins laboratory, the Engelman laboratory, the Lewis laboratory,  the Herzenberg laboratory, and the Gastroenterology department.  Our team of faculty and staff include Elisabeth Hoyte, nurse practitioner and coordinator who helps coordinate the studies and patients.

Our translational studies in Allergy and Clinical Immunology and Clinical Immunology are:

  • Phase I clinical study of Anti IgE in children with Food allergies and Atopic Dermatitis.
  • Phase III clinical study of Anti IgE in subjects with Peanut Allergy.
  • Phase I clinical study of Sub Lingual Immuno Therapy in subjects with Grass and Dust Mite allergies.
  • Translational studies on T cells and tolerance markers in allergic subject who lose their allergies and their clinical symptoms.
  • Translational studies on how presentation of food allergens by dendritic cells affects T cell responses.
  • Translational studies on allergic asthma and new molecules as targets in T cells for therapy in asthma.
  • Translational studies on eosinophils and their interactions with T cells in allergic disorders.
  • In addition, we are running clinical studies:
  • The use of a new agent for Hereditary Angioedema (DYAX).
  • The use of SQ vs IV immunoglobulin in patients with immunodeficiencies.
  • The use of a novel formula to decrease milk allergies in infants with milk allergies

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