Digestive Health Center

  • Inflammatory and Diarrheal Diseases

    Marc E. Rothenberg, MD, PhD
    Professor and Director of Allergy and Immunology
    Department of Pediatrics; Division of Allergy and Immunology
    Visit the Rothenberg Lab Site

    Description of Research

    Dr. Rothenberg’s investigates the mechanisms of allergic responses especially in mucosal tissues with a primary focus on the gastrointestinal tract. The goal of the research is to develop the best treatment strategy for allergic disorders (especially eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders (EGIDs)) based on mechanism-driven research. He uses multiple approaches involving analysis of the cellular and molecular processes in vitro and in vivo, often utilizing genetically engineered mice. In addition, several novel models of antigen-driven allergic gastrointestinal disorders have been developed and these provide the experimental framework for identifying mechanisms of disease. Furthermore, translational research involving several aspects of patient-based research including innovative drug intervention clinical trials, genome wide expression profiling of intestinal tissue, and genetic analysis using candidate gene and genome wide approaches are underway. For example, early results with humanized anti-IL-5 therapy in patients with EGIDS have revealed a promising role for this new biological modifier, prompting an ongoing placebo-controlled clinical trial. 

    Collaborations and Core Use

    He collaborates with Dr. Aronow using the Gene and Protein Expression Core and Bioinformatics Core to define genes that constitute an “allergy genome” and new pathways involved in disease pathogenesis. He uses the Integrative Morphology Core in collaboration with Dr. Cohen to study gastrointestinal inflammation, and with Drs. Hogan, Mishra, Morrow, and Wang to study the epidemiology of EGIDs.

 
  • Research image.

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    Research image.

    Schematics of the physical map of the 1q21 gene cluster and the microarray expression profile of primary esophageal epithelial cells stimulated with IL-13. Esophageal primary epithelial cells from patients with eosinophilic esophagitis (EE) were stimulated with IL-13 (100 ng/ml) for 48 h. Total mRNA was extracted and subjected to real-time RT-PCR for involucrin. *p < 0.05. Figure from J Immunol. 2010;184:4033-4041.