My ongoing research focuses on using systems Immunology-driven approaches to explore human aging and immune disorders including pediatric COVID-19 and lupus.
My initial work on childhood lupus established that children with worse lupus symptoms tended to have higher frequencies of cells with an Interferon-Stimulated Genes (ISGs) and allowed a more accurate classification of lupus patients based on specific cell types. To explore healthy immune aging using systems immunology, I collaborated with Dr. Arne Akbar (UCL, UK) and we revealed the accumulation of the highly differentiated CD8+ T cells during human aging. These ‘aged’ CD8+ T cells: (i) express multiple markers of senescence, including DNA damage associated proteins and (ii) can develop NK cell-like features over time, including cytotoxicity. More recently I led all efforts to dissect the tumor immune microenvironment in primary and recurrent brain tumors.