My laboratory is focused on the study of human B cells and of anti-B cell therapies. I believe that a deeper knowledge of the diversity, function and regulation of human B cell populations will greatly improve our ability to understand multiple diseases including autoimmune diseases and chronic infections such as HIV and malaria. Tangible benefits that will derive from this knowledge include: 1) the recognition of different disease subsets; 2) the development of new B cell targeted therapies that can be rationally applied to the disease subsets more likely to respond (personalized medicine); and 3) the development of biomarkers capable of identifying discreet disease subsets and of predicting and measuring the specific effects of different drugs in treated patients.
At a larger level, we will develop a comprehensive program in Human Immunology. The Lowance Center for Human Immunology at Emory University and the Children’s Health Care of Atlanta (CHOA) have joined together in an initiative aimed at developing more effective and safer therapies for human autoimmune diseases. Moreover, we seek to contribute to and learn from other programs in which the immune system plays an important role including transplantation, immunodeficiencies, infections, vaccine responses and cancer.