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Our Current Projects

The Mucosal Immunopathology of Arthritis Lab has several lines of work underway:

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A novel bacterium in rheumatoid arthritis

Our discovery of a novel bacteria targeted by autoantibodies from individuals at risk for developing rheumatoid arthritis that triggers arthritis when colonizing mice has led to an exciting pipeline of projects. Currently we are interested in how the novel bacterium triggers innate and adaptive immune responses leading to arthritis as well as evaluating the prevalence of these bacteria in human populations.

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Bacterial tryptophan metabolism in inflammatory arthritis

Bacterial products of dietary tryptophan metabolism are increased in individuals with spondyloarthritis and associate with the microbial dysbiosis observed in this disease. We are interested in identifying these metabolites and interrogating their effects on mucosal immune function.

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Education of lymphocytes in the gut and trafficking to the joints

Using novel transgenic murine models, we demonstrated that T cells can mobilize from the gut to the joint and contribute to pathology after injury. Our work now examines how the T cells become licensed in the gut to effect pathology in the joint as well as identify the mediators of gut-joint trafficking.

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