The lab is interested mucosal autoimmunity. In type 1 diabetes (T1D), the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas are destroyed by selftissue- destructive T cells. These cells express markers that help us to determine, for example, their dependence upon growth factors and where they have been in the body.
We are particularly interested in the relationship between the cells that cause T1D and other autoimmune diseases that develop at the mucosal interface between our bodies and the environment. Broad-based suppression is commonly used to treat autoimmune diseases and transplant recipients but it has an obvious drawback since we need a functioning immune system in order to thrive. The aim of our research is to identify target molecules for selective suppression of these self-tissue-destructive cells.