Autoimmunity

Kaihong Su, Ph.D.My laboratory conducts translational research related to autoimmune diseases and infectious diseases. Specifically, we are interested in elucidating autoreactive immune responses in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We integrate the high-throughput immune repertoire analysis with single cell-based antibody cloning technique to identify novel autoantibodies. The ultimate goal is to understand the disease etiology and establish novel biomarkers and pathways that can be developed into new diagnostic and/or therapeutic tools. We also study the role of neutrophils in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases using animal models.  

A new area of research in my laboratory focuses on elucidating the humoral immunity to Ebola virus. We use high-density peptide-based microarrays to map the antigenic epitopes in patients who survived the 2014 Ebola outbreak. The goal is to identify the viral epitopes that mediate protective host immune responses and those that may induce destructive self-reactive responses. The information will be used for rational design of vaccines with improved efficacy and safety.