Research in the Division of Asthma

Research Overview

Asthma and allergic diseases are a serious public health burden and affect over 40% of the population worldwide.  In the Division of Asthma Research our overarching goal is to develop new prevention and treatment strategies for allergic diseases that are personalized and target high risk populations at the critical time periods when they are most vulnerable.

Research Focus  

Asthma research diagram.

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In the Division of Asthma Research we are focused on understanding the total exposure relevant to asthma from the cell and individual level to the patient, family neighborhood and community level.  We aim to identify the factors that contribute to asthma development and symptoms, determine the mechanisms by which these factors contribute to disease, delineate how effects of environmental exposure are modified by genetics and other exposures, and identify biomarkers of exposure and disease activity and severity in an individual.   Our current projects include a spectrum of basic, translational and clinical research that investigates the role of these factor in promoting disease development and activity.

Research Strategy 

Our research strategy - click to enlarge.

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The division utilizes transdisciplinary approaches integrating human cohorts, in vitro systems, and animal models to address these complex problems.  Numerous other factors affect disease outcomes as well including psychosocial factors, community health perceptions, and health literacy.

Highlights of Recent Publications
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Multiple transcriptome data analysis reveals biologically relevant Atopic Dermatitis signature genes & pathways

Several studies have identified genes that are differentially expressed in atopic dermatitis (AD) compared to normal skin. However, there is also considerable variation in the list of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) reported by different groups and the exact cause of AD is still not fully understood. Using a rank-based approach we analyzed gene expression data from five different microarray studies, compromising a total of 127 samples and more than 250,000 transcripts.

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Ten-eleven Translocation (TET1) methylation is associated with childhood asthma and traffic-related air pollution

Asthma is a complex disorder influenced by genetics and the environment. Recent findings have linked abnormal DNA methylation in T cells with asthma; however, the potential dysregulation of methylation in airway epithelial cells is unknown. In this study we sought to examine the association of TET1 methylation with asthma and traffic air pollution (TRAP).

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