Gurupreet S. Sethi, Ph.D.

What if we could cure asthma by erasing the immune system’s memory of allergens?

I’ve made progress in developing a mouse model to study immune cell memory of allergens. I’ve worked with Foxp3 GFP reporter mice subjected to the multiple exposures to house dust mites extract (human allergen), which leads to the development of memory T cells in their lungs. By staining their lung tissue with fluorochrome antibodies, I’ve tracked down a particular subset of lung-localized memory T cells. These memory T cells were sorted out and further processed for RNA extraction and single-cell RNA sequencing.

The next half of the project is critical as the single-cell RNA sequence data will be analyzed using different bioinformatics tools to help us understand the allergic memory T cells. In addition, by comparing the allergic memory T cells with memory T cells of naïve mice, we will try to find out the differentially expressed genes responsible for the long-lasting persistence of these allergic memory T cells.

SPARKing Impact: The study aims to identify and ultimately eradicate long-lived memory T cells in the lungs of severely asthmatic individuals, which could point the way to an effective curative treatment of asthma and maybe other allergic diseases.