|Joseph J. Dolence, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biology, Department of Biology
University of Nebraska at Kearney
Hometown: Eveleth, Minnesota
Year you joined the INBRE program: 2020
Research focus? My lab uses mouse models to study how the immune system mounts a response against peanuts to cause an allergic response. We are particularly interested in our DRPP work in studying how male versus female sex differences impact these peanut-specific immune responses. Females suffer more food allergies, and it is unclear why this occurs. We are trying to figure out why this occurs using peanuts – which is a highly relevant food allergen.
Goal of your research? To better understand how sex differences impact the development of allergic immune responses against peanuts.
Your research will make a difference because? Much remains unknown about how the immune system responds to peanuts to create the allergic response that unfortunately too many people know about from personal experience with someone in their life who is allergic to peanuts. Our research will add more knowledge about how the immune system creates a peanut allergy and importantly will describe how males and females respond differently. Hopefully, one day this will improve clinical outcomes and the quality of life for people who have a peanut allergy.
Why is it important to mentor undergraduate students? Mentoring undergraduates is critical because these students will be the biomedical researchers of tomorrow or enter health care and make a difference in future clinical care. INBRE gives me the opportunity to mentor them and give a hands-on experience working on a highly relevant clinical problem in peanut allergy and along the way, develop meaningful relationships that will advance their career. It’s extremely rewarding to work with these students!
Three things people may not know about you.
- I have a rather large Monopoly game collection that started in my youth.
- I am a huge Minnesota Twins fan.
- I am an Eagle Scout.