Research in the Section of Allergy and Clinical Immunology at Yale encompasses a wide range of allergic and immunological diseases in pediatric and adult populations since our section is uniquely fully combined adult and pediatric in all aspects and extends considerably beyond typical IgE mediated wheal and flare allergic diseases to molecular genetic DNA analysis and therapeutic applications of nanovesicle exosomes.
Studies conducted by our faculty focus on the molecular genetic analysis of primary immune deficiency diseases, including newborn screening for immune deficiency for which we aid the State of Connecticut in establishing required newborn testing. Besides a solid history of research in basophils and mast cell involvement in both immediate and cell meditated processes; the latter relevant to the very clinically important late phase response, we have a particular interest in dissecting the DNA sequence abnormalities in diseases featuring B cell functional defects; including adult and pediatric immune deficiency, autoimmunity, and allergy; with the ability to move blood samples from patients in the clinic into the cooperating laboratories in the nearby Immunobiology Department for analysis immediately.
Inter-cellular Communication by nanovesicle exosomes
We have a very active program of research in the newly recognized area of inter-cellular communication by nanovesicle exosomes as it applies to basic and clinical immune responses. We discovered antigen specific exosomes due to a coating of antibody. We generally are leading the field of surface antibody targeting of exosomes for delivery of regulatory small RNAs to target particular cells with a focus on particular cells active in skin allergy, multiple sclerosis and cancer therapies; now progressing to stem cell exosomes as well; all in strong collaboration with the RNA Center on the Yale College Campus, and the Stem Cell Center of more than 70 investigators.
Atopic Dermatitis, Pattern Recognition TLR and NOD-like receptors, and Lyme disease
There is a strong program in dissection of adult and pediatric versions of Atopic Dermatitis, and related Atopic March-progression from skin to the allergic asthmatic lung disease through analysis, genetic over expression, and blockage of proinflammatory and regulatory cytokines, as well as Sialoglyco ligand binding receptors (Siglecs) in inflammatory lung diseases and regulation of anaphylactic responses. This nicely dove tails with another research focus of Pattern Recognition TLR and NOD-like receptors in allergy and asthma, in which we collaborate with the world-class investigators in Immunobiology. A similar collaborative example is our long work after discovery of Lyme disease with the leading laboratory in Infectious diseases on the pathogenic borellial organism interactions with the tick vector and development of vaccines for the disease.
In these studies, our investigators are seeking to answer the most fundamental questions in allergic and immunological diseases by elucidating the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms. Knowledge from these studies will enable us to develop novel methods for more efficient and accurate diagnosis and, ultimately, more effective treatment for these diseases. In these studies, different approaches are taken. Some studies directly involve patients in the clinic, such as newborn screening and treatment for immune deficiency; some require analyses of patient samples for further understanding; yet others can be more mechanistic or for pre-clinic testing of novel therapies utilizing animal models.
Fellows in training in Allergy and Clinical Immunology at Yale have a wide range of research opportunities and choice of mentorship. They are encouraged to choose a mentor to work with from the world-class Department of Immunobiology, as well as our Section and others, such as Pulmonary, Rheumatology, and Infectious Diseases.