The goal of our laboratory is to determine how the newly defined innate immune cell subsets (ILC and NKT) regulate the development of asthma, autoimmune diseases, and microbial infections. Innate lymphoid cells (ILC), a type of non-T non-B lymphoid cells, represent an emerging family of cell types that seem to have crucial roles in the development of autoimmune diseases and in regulating the innate immunity towards pathogenic and nonpathogenic microorganisms. Another innate immune cell subset, Natural Killer T cells (NKT), which express both NK and T cell markers, are activated by glycolipid antigens, particularly from certain bacteria. They have been found to modulate the process of immune response and participate in the development of several diseases. Despite the importance of these innate immune cell subsets in immunology and in human health, the mechanisms on how these cells activate and regulate disease processes are not well understood. Our research projects take advantage of our mouse models for asthma, as well as being well versed in characterizing ILCs in the lungs. We are interested in studying the mechanistic interactions between respiratory pathogens and lung functional disorders, as well as the mechanisms of how ILCs interplay with other innate or adaptive immune cells in the pathogenesis of asthma and infectious diseases. We are particularly interested in the development of therapeutic agents targeting the innate immune cell subsets in asthma, autoimmune and infectious diseases.
本實驗室致力於研究一群近年新發現的先天性免疫細胞次族群 (Innate Immune Cell Subsets) 如何影響氣喘以及自體免疫疾病的發作與他們在黏膜被微生物感染時所扮演的角色。先天性淋巴細胞 (Innate Lymphoid Cells; ILC) 為一種單核免疫細胞，且不屬於後天免疫系統如T或B淋巴細胞的分類。這群細胞被發現在先天性免疫系統所調控之自體免疫疾病以及宿主對抗病原體感染時扮演重要的角色。而另一種先天性免疫淋巴細胞，自然殺手T細胞 (Natural Killer T Cells; NKT)，為一群具有自然殺手細胞及T細胞特性的免疫細胞群，並被某些醣脂質類抗原所活化，也是我們有興趣研究的目標。目前對這些先天性淋巴細胞於免疫調控以及它們在病原菌感染與自體免疫疾病如過敏與氣喘中如何被活化與調節的機轉並不甚瞭解。我們目前研究的方向包括瞭解呼吸道病毒如何透過先天免疫系統影響氣喘發展的詳細機轉；先天性淋巴細胞 (ILCs) 參與黏膜感染時之免疫反應；以及它們與其他免疫細胞的相互作用。我們將針對這些新興的先天性淋巴次細胞族群在氣喘及自體免疫疾病所參與的調控機制，進一步發展治療或預防氣喘與自體免疫或感染疾病相關的藥物、標靶治療或疫苗研發。