- Understanding the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
The Brusko laboratory works closely with Dr. Laurence Morel to identify key genetic loci that contribute to the disease process leading to SLE. Additionally, the Brusko lab has joint collaborations investigating the metabolic defects within the CD4+ helper T cell compartment that may contribute to a loss of immune tolerance in both type 1 diabetes and SLE. These studies are supported by grants from the NIH and the Alliance for Lupus Research (ALR).
- Tolerance induction in hemophilia
Individuals who lack key clotting factors in the blood often require the replacement of these factors to prevent excessive bleeding. Unfortunately, the immune system often recognizes these replacement proteins as foreign and mounts a deleterious immune response, essentially neutralizing their life-saving properties. The Brusko lab has teamed up with the lab of Dr. Roland Herzog to develop a designer Treg therapy to treat patients with hemophilia who exhibit these neutralizing antibodies. This project involves the expression of a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) on Tregs specific for the clotting factors targeted in patients with hemophilia. The hope is that Tregs will provide a potent means to shut down the host response limiting the activity of neutralizing antibodies to clotting factors. These studies are supported, in part, from a Pfizer Aspire grant.