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Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine & Immunology, University of Manitoba
Immunomodulation in chronic inflammatory diseases:
My research interest is in the understanding of mechanisms underlying the regulation of chronic inflammation. My laboratory studies small molecules, with particular focus on cationic host defence peptides (HDPs), to define protein changes and signalling networks that underlie the role of HDPs in regulating chronic inflammation. Research projects in my lab examines the effects of HDPs and their synthetic mimics known as innate defence regulator (IDR) peptides in two disease models; inflammatory arthritis and allergic asthma. This research adds a new dimension for the use of IDR peptides as immunomodulatory therapy to control inflammation without compromising resistance to infections.
As the underlying molecular processes in chronic inflammatory diseases are poorly understood, my lab also studies interactions between various inflammatory cytokine-mediated networks using Systems Biology-based approaches. Using various Systems approaches, we are involved in several collaborative initiatives to define biosignatures in chronic inflammation, including defining the lung proteome in response to airborne pollution. The overall objectives of my research program are to (i) develop small antagonist molecules such as immunomodulatory IDR peptides for the control of chronic inflammation without compromising resistance to infections, and (ii) define biosignatures which may be used either for prediction of disease state or responsiveness to therapeutics.