My work has been centered on understanding how the immune system works, how and why it goes wrong in diseases, and how can we deliver on medicines to improve the lives of patients with those diseases.
I spent a lot of my time focused on allergic diseases but increasingly see that biology in other settings and have now worked in autoimmunity, fibrotic diseases, and collaborated in a range of settings, including infection, oncology, and neuroinflammatory conditions.
Tissue-resident Innate Immunity
Mast cells are unique immune cells that reside in all tissues but almost never found in blood. This makes them challenging to study without the type of experience and training I received at Boston Children's Hospital. Over my career, the publications from my team members have helped break open new understandings on how these cells coordinate other immune events, what controls their activation, and how they are involved in difficult to treat diseases.
My research at Northwestern University allowed me unique opportunities to engage with patients with allergies and we built a foundation for studying food allergy that remains central to their ongoing mission. In mentoring clinical fellows in the Allergy-Immunology training program, as well as junior faculty in the Lurie Children's Hospital, we make breakthroughs in understanding the pathology and etiology of food allergy, eosinophilic esophagitis, and other allergic diseases.
Our science had applications across a broad range of biology and disease, which we were able to action into discovery through partnering with collaborators. Our amazing partnerships allowed us to explore infection, oncology, pain and into therapeutics. We shared our reagents and tools as widely as possible, most notability the mouse line we generated with allowed cell-type specific deletion of the IL-33 cytokine while also allowing imaging of cells expressing it and is now available commercially. Our collaborative work on inducing immunological tolerance using antigen coupling led to a patent for functionalizing nanoparticles for this purpose.