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Pulmonary Inflammation/Asthma & Allergic Diseases Research Group

Allergic diseases are increasing in frequency in Western society and represent a significant health concern. Atopic dermatitis, often referred to as allergic skin inflammation or eczema, is frequently the first step on the allergic march, a series of allergic responses localized to the nares (allergic rhinitis), esophagus (eosinophilic esophagitis), intestinal tract (food allergy), and the airways (allergic asthma). The severity of these diseases can vary from mild annoyances to life-threatening illness. The overall goal of this research program is to understand the initiation, pathogenesis and progression of these allergic diseases in the hopes of identifying better ways to treat or prevent allergic symptoms. Research spans many areas from examining the regulation of genes important for the development of T cells involved in allergic inflammation, to the biology of cytokines and other factors that promote allergic disease, to examining lung development and function and how changes contribute to lung reactivity to allergens and pulmonary diseases. Research involves animal models of developmental cardiopulmonary defects, allergic inflammation, viral infection, as well as patient studies of infants and children with atopic dermatitis and developing airway disease.