Cellular dynamics of allergic immune responses underlying asthma
Asthma is a chronic lung disease that afflicts tens of millions of people in the US and is particularly prevalent in children. In the majority of individuals with asthma, underlying allergic inflammation in the lung makes a significant contribution to the disease etiology. In order to understand the cellular and molecular events driving this allergic inflammation, we use advanced technologies, including two-photon microscopy and flow cytometry, to directly visualize and characterize inflammatory cells in the lungs as well as in lymphoid organs that ‘prime’ cells for immune responses in the respiratory tract. A particular emphasis of our research is on the generation and function of the IgE class of antibodies that contribute to allergic responses.