Professor Environmental Health and Engineering (Chair) Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Professor

Environmental Health and Engineering (Chair)

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

RESEARCH OVERVIEW

My research activities focus on defining the environmental and genetic determinants of allergic airway diseases such as asthma. My lab members and I have specifically explored the role of CD4+ Th2 cells and cytokines (IL-13), and innate immune pathways (complement activation pathways, TLRs, CLRs), in the pathogenesis of asthma. I have made substantial contributions to our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying allergenicity of common allergens-specifically how allergens and airborne pollutants activate innate immune pathways through molecular mimicry (Nature).  More recently, I have turned my attention to how the gut microbiome alters susceptibility to allergen and PM-induced asthma.

Cell BiologyGenetics, Genomics and Gene Regulation | Immunology and Infectious Diseases

Selected Publications:

Wills-Karp M, Rani R, Dienger K, Lewkowich I, Fox JG, Perkins C, Lewis L, Finkelman FD, Smith DE, Bryce PJ, Kurt-Jones EA, Wang TC, Sivaprasad U, Hershey GK, Herbert DR. Trefoil factor 2 rapidly induces interleukin 33 to promote type 2 immunity during allergic asthma and hookworm infection. J Exp Med. 2012 PMID: 22329990.

Lajoie S, Lewkowich IP, Suzuki Y, Clark JR, Sproles AA, Dienger K, Budelsky AL, Wills-Karp M. Complement-mediated regulation of the IL-17A axis is a central genetic determinant of the severity of experimental allergic asthma. Nat Immunol. 2010 PMID: 20802484.

Köhl J, Baelder R, Lewkowich IP, Pandey MK, Hawlisch H, Wang L, Best J, Herman NS, Sproles AA, Zwirner J, Whitsett JA, Gerard C, Sfyroera G, Lambris JD, Wills-Karp M. A regulatory role for the C5a anaphylatoxin in type 2 immunity in asthma. J Clin Invest. 2006 PMID: 16511606.

Karp CL, Grupe A, Schadt E, Ewart SL, Keane-Moore M, Cuomo PJ, Köhl J, Wahl L, Kuperman D, Germer S, Aud D, Peltz G, Wills-Karp M. Identification of complement factor 5 as a susceptibility locus for experimental allergic asthma. Nat Immunol. 2000 PMID: 10973279.

Wills-Karp M, Luyimbazi J, Xu X, Schofield B, Neben TY, Karp CL, Donaldson DD. Interleukin-13: central mediator of allergic asthma. Science. 1998 PMID: 9856949.

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