Our research is focused on understanding the selection, activation, and expansion of an autoreactive T cell repertoire in autoimmunity. We utilize tools such as HLA tetramers to predict and validate epitopes within candidate antigens and to directly identify and characterize antigen-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells.
The lab’s studies currently focus on type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. The overarching goal of our research is to develop an increasingly in depth knowledge of autoreactive T cell responses by examining the characteristics of the epitope specific cells involved in these autoimmune diseases through robust multi-parameter assays and also at the single cell level. We seek to leverage that knowledge to develop clinically meaningful biomarkers and to reveal potential new avenues for therapies.
Our group places a high value on collaboration, as manifested by our activity in groups such as the JDRF Biomarker Working Group, the Immunology of Diabetes Society T cell Workshop, and nPOD and through formal and informal research collaborations with investigators across numerous areas of research. We are convinced that the future success of research will be crucially dependent on collaborative efforts that leverage the expertise of multiple researchers to address key questions through complementary techniques and approaches.
Eddie James, PhD
Aisha Callebaut, PhD
Ruth Ettinger, PhD
Hai Nguyen, PhD
To Belgium and Back Again to Study Beta Cells
An Unprecedented Way To Study Rheumatoid Arthritis
The first symptoms Linda Sloate experienced were aching hands and pain that shot up her arms. She had carpal tunnel surgery in both hands. Then she felt pain in her feet while she was teaching kindergarten and running around after her three children.
Understanding What Causes IBD
James Lord, MD, PhD, has a simple way of explaining the immune system. “It’s not a homogenous pot of stew,” he says. “It’s a carefully orchestrated dance, and doing the right thing at the right time is critical. But it’s very hard to predict the choreography.”