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Allergy and Clinical Immunology Labs

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  • Antoine Azar Lab

    The Antoine Azar Lab conducts research on topics related to primary immunodeficiency diseases, allergies and lung disease. Specifically, we explore the role of primary immunodeficiency in certain difficult-to-treat chronic lung diseases, such as COPD, emphysema and asthma.

    Research Areas: emphysema, immunology, asthma, allergies, lung disease, COPD

    Principal Investigator

    Antoine Azar, M.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Bradley Undem Lab

    Research in the Bradley Undem Lab centers around the hypothesis that the peripheral nervous system is directly involved in the processes of inflammation. This hypothesis is being studied primarily in the central airways and sympathetic ganglia. We are addressing this in a multidisciplinary fashion, using pharmacological, electrophysiological, biochemical and anatomical methodologies.

    Research Areas: biochemistry, electrophysiology, inflammation, pharmacology, nervous system

    Principal Investigator

    Bradley Undem, Ph.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Brendan J. Canning Lab

    Research in the Brendan J. Canning Lab is focused on mechanistic studies of the cough reflex. Through our work, we identified the afferent nerves that play an essential role in regulating cough. We have also been characterizing the CNS pathways regulating the cough reflex and interactions amongst various afferent nerve subtypes in regulating cough. We have identified key sites of integration of airway afferent nerve input and mechanisms by which afferent nerve subtypes act synergistically to regulate cough. Our experimental approaches include electrophysiological recordings, CNS microinjection techniques, in vivo preparations for monitoring cough and reflex bronchospasm, neuronal tracing and immunohistochemistry.

    Research Areas: airway reflexes, coughs, immunohistochemistry

    Principal Investigator

    Brendan Canning, Ph.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • David MacGlashan Laboratory

    Research in the Donald MacGlashan Laboratory aims to understand the regulation of secretion from human basophils and mast cells—two cells thought to play key roles in allergic reactions and other diseases. The hallmark reaction in these cells is degranulation through cell-bound IgE. Our interests lie in the signaling mechanisms that control this dramatic cell response and the factors that regulate the degree of the reaction.

    Research Areas: mast cells, allergies, basophils

    Principal Investigator

    Donald MacGlashan, M.D., Ph.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Emily McGowan Lab

    Research in the Emily McGowan Lab focuses on food-allergy prevalence, the relationship between maternal folate and food allergy in children, and the risk factors for food allergy in inner-city children. We frequently use data from the Urban Environment and Childhood Asthma (URECA) birth cohort and Boston Birth Cohort to conduct our research.

    Research Areas: children, food allergies, asthma

    Principal Investigator

    Emily McGowan

    Department

    Medicine

  • Jody Tversky Lab

    The Jody Tversky Lab studies dendritic cells in allergy and immunotherapy; cluster immunotherapy clinical observations and immune tolerance; and clinical diagnostic sensitivity of 10 allergy skin prick devices.

    Research Areas: allergies, immunotherapy

    Principal Investigator

    Jody Tversky, M.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • John Schroeder Lab

    The John Schroeder Lab focuses on understanding the role human basophils and mast cells play in allergic reactions, as it relates not only to their secretion of potent inflammatory mediators (e.g., histamine and leukotriene C4) but also to their production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. We have long utilized human cells rather than cell lines in order to address the parameters, signal transduction and pharmacological aspects underlying clinically relevant basophil and mast cell responses. As a result, the lab has established protocols for rapidly isolating large numbers of basophils at high purity from human blood and for growing culture-derived mast cells/basophils from human progenitor cells. A variety of assays and techniques are also in place for concurrently detecting cytokines and mediators following a wide range of stimuli. These have facilitated the in vitro testing of numerous anti-allergic drugs for inhibitory activity on basophil and mast cell activation. The lab also studie...s counter-regulation between the IgE and innate immune receptors on human immature dendritic cell subtypes. view more

    Research Areas: cell biology, allergies, inflammation

    Principal Investigator

    John Schroeder, Ph.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Johns Hopkins University Dermatology, Allergy and Clinical Immunology (DACI) Reference Laboratory

    The mission of the Johns Hopkins University Dermatology, Allergy and Clinical Immunology (DACI) Reference Laboratory is to provide comprehensive, high-quality diagnostic allergy and immunology testing to patients throughout North America with asthma, allergy and immunologic disorders. We offer an extensive menu of laboratory tests that includes allergen-specific IgE measurements to approximately 300 pollen, epidermal, mold spore, mite, food, drug, venom and occupational allergen specificities. We specialize in Hymenoptera (insect sting) venom-specific IgE and IgG antibody measurements. In addition, the DACI Laboratory performs hypersensitivity pneumonitis precipitin panels, serum cotinine, and environmental mold measurements.

    Research Areas: immunology, asthma, allergies, allergens, dermatology

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Robert Hamilton, M.S., Ph.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Kathleen Barnes Lab

    Work in the Kathleen Barnes Lab focuses on the genetic basis for acute and chronic airway disease and is based on family-based and independent clinical populations, largely of African descent, recruited both locally and from various locales in the Caribbean and South America. Our studies are also focused on gene-environment interactions and the interface of innate and adaptive immunity in the immunogenetics of various complex lung, allergic, rheumatologic and infectious diseases, including asthma, pulmonary hypertension, scleroderma, atopic dermatitis and schistosomiasis. In addition, we have had a long-standing interest in the potential beneficial role of microbial exposures for the development of asthma, allergies and autoimmune disorders, or the “hygiene hypothesis.”

    Research Areas: airway diseases, asthma, immunogenetics, dermatitis, allergies, genomics, atopic dermatitis, health disparities

    Principal Investigator

    Kathleen Barnes

    Department

    Medicine

  • Li Gao Lab

    The Li Gao Lab researches functional genomics, molecular genetics and epigenetics of complex cardiopulmonary and allergic diseases, with a focus on translational research applying fundamental genetic insight into the clinical setting. Current research includes implementation of high-throughput technologies in the fields of genome-wide association studies (GWAS), massively parallel sequencing, gene expression analysis, epigenetic mapping and integrative genomics in ongoing research of complex lung diseases and allergic diseases including asthma, atopic dermatitis (AD), pulmonary arterial hypertension, COPD, sepsis and acute lung injury/ARDS; and epigenetic contributions to pulmonary arterial hypertension associated with systemic sclerosis.

    Research Areas: pulmonary arterial hypertension, molecular genetics, cardiopulmonary diseases, asthma, epigenetics, complex lung disease, allergies, genomics, COPD, atopic dermatitis

    Principal Investigator

    Li Gao, M.D., Ph.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Marian Kollarik Lab

    Research in the Marian Kollarik Lab focuses on specific phenotype of visceral sensory nerves, termed nociceptive, that detect stimuli associated with impeding or actual tissue damage. Nociceptors trigger defensive reflexes and/or sensations of discomfort and pain. For example, nociceptors initiate cough, sneezing, nasal itching, bronchoconstriction and mucus hypersecretion in the respiratory system, and pain and hypersecretion in the gastrointestinal system. An increase in nociceptive activity contributes significantly to the pathogenesis of respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases and their symptoms. Importantly, inflammation profoundly alters properties of nociceptive nerves per se, leading in general to exaggerated nociceptive responsiveness. Our research centers on this aspect of visceral nociception in allergic and non-allergic inflammation. We carry out electrophysiological and anatomical studies in isolated tissues and reflex studies in animal models.

    Research Areas: gastrointestinal system, respiratory system, immunology, allergies, nociceptors, inflammation, pain, nervous system

    Principal Investigator

    Marian Kollarik

    Department

    Medicine

  • Peisong Gao Lab

    The Peisong Gao Lab’s major focus is to understand the immunological and genetic regulation of allergic diseases. We have been involved in the identification of the genetic basis for atopic dermatitis and eczema herpeticum (ADEH) as part of the NIH Atopic Dermatitis and Vaccinia Network-Clinical Studies Consortium. Major projects in the Gao Lab include immunogenetic analysis of human response to allergen, identification of candidate genes for specific immune responsiveness to cockroach allergen, and epigenetics of food allergy (FA).

    Research Areas: food allergies, eczema herpeticum, epigenetics, allergies, genomics, atopic dermatitis

    Principal Investigator

    Peisong Gao, M.D., Ph.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Rasika Mathias Lab

    Research in the Rasika Mathias Lab focuses on the genetics of asthma in people of African ancestry. Our work led to the first genomewide association study of its kind in 2009. Currently, we are analyzing the whole-genome sequence of more than 1,000 people of African ancestry from the Consortium on Asthma among African-ancestry Populations in the Americas (CAAPA). CAAPA’s goal is to use whole-genome sequencing to expand our understanding of how genetic variants affect asthma risk in populations of African ancestry and to provide a public catalog of genetic variation for the scientific community. We’re also involved in the study of coronary artery disease though the GeneSTAR Program, which aims to identify mechanisms of atherogenic vascular diseases and attendant comorbidities.

    Research Areas: heart disease, African Americans, asthma, genomics, health disparities

    Principal Investigator

    Rasika Mathias, Sc.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Sarbjit Saini Lab

    The research in the Sarbjit Saini Laboratory focuses on IgE receptor biology and IgE receptor-mediated activation of blood basophils and mast cells. We have examined the role of IgE receptor expression and activation in allergic airways disease, anaphylaxis and chronic urticaria. Our research has been supported by the NIH, American Lung Association and the AAAAI. Our current research interests have focused mechanisms of diease in allergic asthma, allergic rhinitis and also translational studies in chronic idiopathic urticaria.

    Research Areas: anaphylaxis, airway diseases, cell biology, asthma, allergies, chronic idiopathic urticaria

    Principal Investigator

    Sarbjit Saini, M.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Susan MacDonald Laboratory

    Studies in the Susan M. MacDonald Laboratory led to the cloning of a novel cytokine, termed histamine releasing factor (HRF), which was shown to cause histamine release from a subset of allergic donors' basophils. After deciphering the signal transduction events associated with HRF-induced basophil histamine release, our laboratory made the first inducible-transgenic mouse model of HRF using the Tet-On system. When HRF was induced in this model, there was an enhanced asthmatic, allergic phenotype after an ovalbumin challenge.

    Research Areas: allergies, basophils, histamine release factor

    Principal Investigator

    Susan MacDonald

    Department

    Medicine

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