Description: More than 30 million people in the US suffer from asthma and related allergic diseases and incidence is increasing. Mast cells play a key role in allergic asthma through the release of mediators that drive inflammation and induce bronchoconstriction in response to IgE-directed antigens. Therapeutics that non-specifically inhibit mast cell function or that target mediators released by mast cells have had some success, but targeting single mediators in an inflammatory response only removes a fraction of the inflammatory “pool” of mediators. Therefore, therapeutics that can specifically target mast cells have an unmet clinical need. Our laboratory examines the complex signaling pathways in mast cells that lead to activation and secretion or promote survival and proliferation to identify novel therapeutic targets for mast cell-mediated diseases. We are developing innovative approaches to target immune cell function by utilizing splice switching oligonucleotides to target multiple signaling pathways. Our approach is innovative because we do not attempt to target gene mutations, but rather utilize therapeutic splice switching oligonucleotides to target specific protein-protein interactions and cell signaling pathways that are critical to allergic inflammatory responses. Our emerging therapeutics and novel targets hold great promise for targeted control of allergic inflammation.
Location: RB101, CVM, NC State University
Time: January 24, 2018 4:00PM