Current Research and Scholarly Interests
Mast cells, which normally reside in the tissues, and basophils, which circulate in the blood, are major effector cells of asthma and other IgE-associated allergic disorders and immune responses to parasites. However, mast cells also have been implicated (as effector and/or immunoregulatory cells) in many other settings, including certain autoimmune or inflammatory disorders, innate immune responses to pathogens and resistance to exogenous and exogenous agents which can express significant toxicity; mast cells also may contribute importantly, in certain settings, to angiogenesis, the regulation of epithelial development and function and fibrosis and other examples of tissue remodeling.
The goals of Dr. Gallis laboratory are to develop and employ genetic approaches in mice to understand the regulation of mast cell and basophil development and the expression of mast cell and basophil function, and to elucidate the roles of these cells in health and disease. In parallel with these mouse studies, we investigate the roles of mast cells in human health and disease by conducting studies of human mast cells, or by analyzing specimens derived from patients with asthma or other disorders in which mast cell have been implicated.