Disorders of the Immune System
Adaptive immune responses provide powerful long-lived protection from pathogens, but when misdirected, T and B cell responses can cause significant injury and disease. The mechanisms controlling inappropriate adaptive immunity to self-targets/autoantigens (autoimmunity), allergens (allergy), or transplanted tissues (alloimmunity) are being addressed by faculty in our department. Diabetes, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis are just some of the autoimmune diseases under study. Why and how allergens are targeted by the immune system in diseases like food allergy and asthma are questions being actively studied. Vascular graft and red blood cell rejection are examples of alloimmune responses under investigation in our department.