Wayne G. Shreffler, MD, PhD

Chief, Pediatric Allergy & Immunology, Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

Dr. Shreffler has developed a highly integrated research and clinical program to better understand the pathogenic mechanisms of food allergy and asthma and provide the best current and future care. The Shreffler laboratory focuses on the characterization of cellular and humoral immune response to dietary antigens and the mechanisms of allergen-induced Th2 sensitization and oral tolerance. Areas of active investigation include 1) the mechanisms of allergenic dendritic cell (DC) activation by allergens and the DC signals that induce Th2 differentiation; 2) the role of regulatory T cells in natural and immunotherapy-induced oral tolerance; 3) the role of IgE diversity and basophil activation and their regulation in both the effector response and in adaptive immune deviation in the context of food allergy and asthma; 4) the relevance of humoral immunity in immunotherapy-induced oral tolerance. The Food Allergy Center, led by Dr. Shreffler, is primarily focused on vaccine-like approaches and several phase I and II studies of oral immunotherapy for children and adults with food allergy that are active or in regulatory review stages. These interventional trials, are on the cutting edge of what is being offered for patients anywhere in the country. Dr. Shreffler’s experience conducting correlative mechanistic immunological studies in the context of such trials, together with the depth of expertise and resources at the Center for Immunological and Inflammatory Diseases and MGH/ Harvard Medical School, put the group in a unique position to make important new discoveries on how and why these therapies work for some individuals and what we can do to improve their efficacy.

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