James I. Kim, PH.D.
|Title||Assistant Professor of Surgery|
|Institution||Massachusetts General Hospital|
|Address||Massachusetts General Hospital|
825, Thier Building
55 Fruit St
Boston MA 02114
Available: 10/14/11, Expires: 10/13/16
Regulation of the immune response to both self-antigens and foreign pathogens is integral to host survival. The natural regulatory pathways involved may also afford the opportunity to intercede in undesirable immune responses such as those occurring to allogeneic transplants. The attractiveness of this approach is evident in the enthusiasm for applying regulatory T cells (Tregs) to promote transplant survival in patients. Recent evidence suggests that parallel regulatory pathways may exist in the humoral arm of the immune response though the exact cells involved and the mechanisms of regulation are yet to be fully characterized. Despite the convincing evidence for regulatory B cells (Bregs) in non-transplant settings (autoimmunity, infectious disease, and bone marrow transplant/GVHD), a clear role for B cells, or Bregs, in the maintenance of induced transplant tolerance has not yet been well-established.
We will characterize the contribution of Bregs to transplantation tolerance using mouse models developed in the lab. We will focus on mechanisms by which Bregs suppress the allograft response.
We are a small group. An interested student can participate in any and all aspects of the research project including skin and pancreatic islet transplantation, cellular and molecular analysis of the allograft response, and understanding the antigen-specificity of these regulatory B cells. No lab research experience required.
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