Taylor – Immunology/Ophthalmology
Options: Volunteer Basis, Potential for UROP Funding, Potential for Academic Credit
Within the healthy eye there are mechanisms that control and manipulate immunity necessary to preserve vision. Several specific immunomodulating neuropeptides have been discovered to be constitutively present within the eye. These neuropeptides individually modulate different immune cells and immune cell functions. Collectively they suppress inflammation and make the immune system regulate itself. The understanding of how each of these neuropeptides alter immunity and how they work together to suppress inflammation has a profound impact on finding ways to reestablishing a healthy eye following infection, graft rejection, autoimmune disease, trauma, and aging. In addition, advances in understanding how these neuropeptides regulate immunity within the eye is leading the use of neuropeptides to regulate immunity in other tissues. Our experimental approaches use molecular, biochemical, flow cytometry, gene delivery, cultured immune cells, and immune model techniques.