Basic and Translational Research
The Thurston Arthritis Research Center’s Basic and Translational Research program is investigating the underlying mechanisms that promote the development and progression of conditions relevant to rheumatology, allergy and immunology.
Basic and Translational Research — Faculty and Primary Focus:
Richard F. Loeser, Jr., MD (Director):
Mechanisms responsible for joint tissue destruction in osteoarthritis, including the role of aging and oxidative stress and cell signaling stimulated by matrix fragments acting through integrin receptors.
More information about about Dr. Loeser’s lab.
Scott Commins, MD, PhD:
Food allergy to red meat; including why allergic reactions are delayed 3-6 hours after eating, and the role that tick bites may have in initiating allergic response to the carbohydrate galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose (“alpha-gal”).
More information about Dr. Commins’ lab.
Brian Diekman, PhD:
The mechanisms by which aging and genetics contribute to osteoarthritis risk and how regenerative medicine technologies may lead to novel treatment strategies.
More information about Dr. Diekman’s lab.
Onyinye Iweala, MD, PhD:
Glycolipids, unconventional T cells, and their role in alpha-gal red meat allergy and epigenetic regulation of allergic, anti-parasitic, and regulatory immune responses.
More information about Dr. Iweala’s lab.
Peng Liu, MD, PhD:
Immune mechanisms that initiate and sustain tissue inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis and atherosclerosis, particularly myeloid cells, such as monocyte subsets, macrophages, dendritic cells, and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs).
More information about Dr. Liu’s lab.
Lara Longobardi, PhD:
The mechanisms leading to osteoarthritis development, especially the role of chemokines in cartilage and bone generation after injury, and how they affect pain response.
More information about Dr. Longobardi’s lab.
Affiliated Research Faculty and Primary Focus:
Jenny Ting, PhD (Genetics):
Innate immunity, dendritic cell function, cell death, autophagy, signal transduction.
Barb Vilen, PhD (Microbiology and Immunology):
Mechanisms of tolerance in systemic lupus erythematosus.
Janet Rubin, MD (Endocrinology and Metabolism):
Metabolic bone diseases.
Christopher Sims, MD (Biomedical Engineering):
Cell-based biochemical assays, microfabricated technologies for clinical and biochemical applications, stem-cell based organ-on-chip platforms.