Matthias von Herrath, MD



Elected 2000
My research program focuses on improving understanding of the regulation of autoimmune injury and anti-viral responses. More specifically, my laboratory investigates the role of key cytokines (TGF-beta, IL-4/IL-5 and IL-10), transcription factors (T-bet) and chemokines (IP-10) in regulating autoimmunity and virally-induced immunopathology. My research team also is attempting to dissect how autoantigen-induced regulatory T cells act in immune-competent hosts in vivo and how they can be used in the clinic to prevent type 1 diabetes. Another key project has been the development of a combination therapy aimed at reversing recent onset type 1 diabetes. The therapy has shown promise in mouse models and involves using a combination of a vaccine to stimulate beneficial immune cells that can prevent islet destruction and an immunosuppressant that prevents this destruction. My laboratory also is exploring the role of viral immunopathology in autoimmunity. It is my hope that paradigms developed from these studies will not only be useful in selectively suppressing autoimmune diseases, but can also be employed to lower immunopathology that accompanies viral infections.