Wayne G Shreffler, M.D., Ph.D.
|Title||Associate Professor of Pediatrics|
|Institution||Massachusetts General Hospital|
|Address||Massachusetts General Hospital|
55 Fruit St
Boston MA 02114
Our research program involves a combination of approaches, primarily with human samples and often in conjunction with clinical interventional or observational studies, to interrogate both the innate and adaptive immune responses to major dietary and aeroallergens.
Working together with leading clinical investigators around the world as part of the Consortium for Food Allergy Research and the Inner City Asthma Consortium and the newly established Food Allergy Research Center at MGH, we are adapting the use of polychromatic flow cytometry and peptide microarray-based humoral immune profiling and systems biology approaches to uniquely characterize the phenotype and function of allergen-specific T and B cell responses and the regulations of effector cells in pediatric food allergy and asthma.
Equally important is the effort to understand the mechanisms that influence early immune fate decisions to allergens and the intrinsic properties of those allergens that facilitate an allergic response and we are studying this in human and murine model systems.
Available: 08/01/13, Expires: 07/31/14
Approximately 0.8% of the U.S. population is allergic to peanuts and the are at risk for severe reactions. Over 50% of these individuals will have an allergic reaction to peanuts over a 2-year period. Strict avoidance of food allergens and ready access to self-injectable epinephrine are the only accepted management options.
Peanut oral immunotherapy (PNOIT) significantly increases the dose of peanut that can be ingested without symptoms for most patients while the therapy is being actively administered, but long-lasting tolerance is not well defined. We are currently conducting an NIH-funded study of PNOIT to address mechanisms of tolerance.
This project addresses how PNOIT affects the B cell repertoire in those patients and how those changes correlate to the heterogeneous clinical outcomes that are expected. The student’s role would be to work closely with a post-doctoral fellow to apply advanced BCR sequencing and cloning methods to the analysis of the B cell response to peanut antigens during PNOIT and relating those outcomes to the clinical response.
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