Antigen Discovery and Translation in IBD
Principal Investigator: Daniel Graham, Broad Institute
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is elicited by an unrestrained immune response to commensal microorganisms in a genetically susceptible host. Although remarkable progress has been made towards characterizing changes in the microbiome associated with IBD, little is known about how the host adaptive T cell response reacts with commensal microbes. Given that T cells impart specificity and durable memory to the immune response, there is a pressing need to identify commensal antigens that are targeted by T cells, ignored by T cells, or tolerated by T cells. The objective of our research is to identify T cell antigens on commensal microbes that trigger pathological inflammation. Discovery and validation of commensal-derived T cell antigens will generate fundamental insights into the host-microbiome dynamic and open new opportunities for antigen-specific immunotherapies.