Ziegler Lab

Introduction

Our laboratory is focused on the factors that control immune responses, both normal and pathogenic, at mucosal barrier surfaces. These surfaces in the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts protect from external insults such as virus and bacterial infections. However, they also can respond inappropriately to innocuous stimuli such as allergens and food.  

The laboratory is investigating the role of the epithelial cytokines TSLP and IL-33 in regulating responses at these barrier tissues. These cytokines, which are referred to as “alarmins,” are released rapidly by epithelial cells following infection. They work to coordinate the innate and adaptive immune responses to mitigate the perceived threat.

We have also found that these cytokines, especially TSLP, are involved in cancers of the epithelium. TSLP serves as a survival factor for tumors, and also acts to blunt the immune response to the cancer.

The lab is also interested in the transcription factor Foxp3 and its role in the development and function of regulatory T cells (Tregs). These studies address the role of Foxp3 isoforms on Treg function, using both human and mouse model systems. We have also recently discovered a novel mechanism of Treg-mediated suppression-inhibition of translation. We are pursuing these studies to better understand the mechanisms that underlie Treg dysfunction in settings of autoimmunity.

Steven F Ziegler
Director of Academic Affairs

Steven Ziegler, PhD

Member; Director of External Collaboration; Principal Investigator, Ziegler Lab; Center for Fundamental Immunology
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Lab Members

Honyin Chiu

Honyin Chiu, PhD

Visiting Scientist, Ziegler Lab; Center for Fundamental Immunology
Philip Domeier

Phillip Domeier, DPhil

Post Doctoral Research Associate, Ziegler Lab; Center for Fundamental Immunology
Laurie Eldredge

Laurie Eldredge

Visiting Scientist, Ziegler Lab; Center for Fundamental Immunology
Yan Han

Yan Han, PhD

Visiting Scientist, Ziegler Lab; Center for Fundamental Immunology
Ruth Penn

Ruth Penn

Administrative Assistant, Ziegler Lab; Center for Fundamental Immunology
Florence Roan

Florence Roan, PhD

Staff Scientist, Ziegler Lab; Center for Fundamental Immunology
Stephanie Varela

Stephanie Varela

Graduate Student, Ziegler Lab; Center for Fundamental Immunology
Kristin Weinstein

Kristin Weinstein, BS

Graduate Student, Ziegler Lab; Center for Fundamental Immunology
Mikias Woldetensae

Mikias Woldetensae

Research Technician, Ziegler Lab; Center for Fundamental Immunology