William Montagna Lecture
Regulatory T cells in Skin
Dr. Rosenblum’s research focuses on understanding the fundamental mechanisms of how immune responses are regulated in peripheral tissues, and how this knowledge can be exploited to treat human disease. Using transgenic mouse model systems to mechanistically dissect how regulatory T cells (Tregs) function in tissues, Dr. Rosenblum has discovered that Tregs can differentiate into memory cells that utilize unique pathways for their establishment and long-term maintenance. In skin, these cells play major roles in wound healing and mediating tolerance to commensal microbes. Most recently, he has discovered that skin-resident Tregs augment the function of epithelial stem cells during both hair follicle regeneration and epidermal barrier repair. Dr. Rosenblum also functionally investigates Tregs in human tissues and has discovered that human skin contains a unique population of tissue-resident Tregs. He has found that these Tregs are dysfunctional in patients with psoriasis, scleroderma, and melanoma. He recently helped to generate and validate a novel therapeutic molecule that selectively activates human Tregs which is currently being tested in clinical trials in patients with autoimmune diseases.