Research Interests

My research interests focus on the mechanisms by which the immune system effectively defends the host against foreign pathogens while maintaining tolerance to self antigens and avoiding the pathological consequences of autoimmunity. My laboratory investigates the role of IgG antibodies as both regulatory and effector molecules in the immune response through their interaction with cognate receptors on lymphoid and myeloid cells. We are manipulating the expression of these antibody receptors and the structure of their IgG ligands to either enhance the immunogenicity of antigens and therapeutic antibodies for more effective vaccination or restore tolerance and suppress inflammation in autoimmune diseases. Our recent studies on the contribution of specific carbohydrate moieties linked to the IgG Fc domain on the pro- or anti-inflammatory activity of this molecule is leading us to explore the regulation of specific glycoforms of IgG in protective and pathological states and the mechanisms by which these activities are achieved in the body. Our work aims to both define the basic mechanisms that regulate the immune response and develop the means of manipulating those mechanisms to design novel therapeutic approaches to infectious, neoplastic and autoimmune diseases.

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Primary Section

Section 43: Immunology and Inflammation

Secondary Section

Section 44: Microbial Biology