Autoimmune disorders are a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Complex interactions between multiple genetic and environmental factors are essential for the development of autoimmunity. Our laboratory is interested in understanding how autoimmune responses are initiated, amplified and how do they cause tissue injury and pathology.
Sjogren’s syndrome is a chronic autoimmune disorder responsible for causing severe dry mouth, dry eyes and fatigue. A characteristic feature of this disorder is the presence of autoantibodies recognizing multiple self-proteins. We are investigating how a certain group of autoantibodies cause salivary gland dysfunction and dry mouth.
Recently, there has been a tremendous interest in deciphering the role of microbiota in human health and disease. Our laboratory is investigating how oral infections influence autoimmunity. We are studying the role of bacteria responsible for causing gum disease in the development and severity of lupus.