Study of immunology
Mechanisms of stress mediated immunomodulation and biologic-based therapeutics for chronic inflammation
Michael Lynes’ research group studies the role of a stress response protein, metallothionein (MT) in the development of immune activities that occur during biologic, chemical, psychological, or physical stress. Biologic stressors include infections and autoimmune disease. We have shown that a monoclonal anti-MT antibody has significant beneficial effect on the progression of several autoimmune diseases (including inflammatory bowel disease), and that genetic manipulations of MT can alter both the progression of autoimmune disease and bacterial infection. Our current studies include the expansion of our understanding of the molecular events that underpin MT-mediated immunomodulation, exploration of bacterial MT-mediated effects as a virulence factor in vertebrate infections, and the development of the anti-MT antibody as a therapeutic intervention in human disease.