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Laboratory of Allergic Diseases

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Photo of Helene F. Rosenberg, M.D., Ph.D. 

Helene F. Rosenberg, M.D., Ph.D.

Chief, Inflammation Immunobiology Section, LAD

Major Areas of Research

  • Eosinophils, eosinophil ribonucleases, and their role in innate immune responses
  • Inflammatory responses to and novel immunomodulatory therapies for severe respiratory virus infection
  • Diversity and biology of eosinophil and other RNase A family ribonucleases

Program Description

The Inflammation Immunobiology Section aims to explore the link between inflammation and infectious disease, specifically, the unique inflammatory sequelae elicited by respiratory virus pathogens. Our laboratory utilizes molecular, cellular, bioinformatics, and in vivo approaches to elucidate novel pathways and to gain insight into critical interactions.

One primary focus of the laboratory program is the eosinophil, an enigmatic leukocyte whose role in innate immunity remains a subject of controversy. Eosinophils are perhaps best known for their contributions to the functional pathophysiology of allergic asthma; however, evolution tells us that the ability to induce pathology cannot be a raison d’être for any existing cell lineage. As such, several distinct lines of evidence have led Dr. Rosenberg's group to consider the possibility that eosinophils and their unique eosinophil secretory ribonucleases may have unrecognized interactions with asthma-exacerbating factors, most notably respiratory virus pathogens.

In conjunction with the aforementioned studies, Dr. Rosenberg's lab has developed a novel mouse model of respiratory viral infection using the natural rodent pneumovirus pathogen, pneumonia virus of mice (PVM). PVM undergoes robust replication in inbred mouse models, and reproduces many of the clinical and pathologic features of the more severe forms of RSV infection in human infants. With this model, Dr. Rosenberg’s laboratory is conducting studies aimed at elucidating novel inflammatory pathways and original immunomodulatory therapies.


Dr. Rosenberg was awarded both M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from The Rockefeller University and Cornell University Medical College (1984, 1985). Following postdoctoral research at Harvard University, she joined the National Institutes of Health in 1991 and became a section chief in 2002.

Editorial Boards

  • Journal of Leukocyte Biology
  • Clinical and Experimental Allergy
  • Journal of Immunology
  • Clinical and Vaccine Immunology
  • Virology Journal

Research Group

photo of members of the Inflammation Immunobiology Section

L-R, front: Kimberly Dyer, Helene Rosenberg, Caroline Percopo
L-R, back: Tyler Rice, Todd Brenner, Derek Barisas

Selected Publications

Yamada KJ, Barker T, Dyer KD, Rice TA, Percopo CM, Garcia-Crespo KE, Cho S, Lee JJ, Druey KM, Rosenberg HF.  Eosinophil-associated Ribonuclease 11 is a Macrophage Chemoattractant. J Biol Chem. 2015 Feb 20, In press. 

Percopo CM, Dyer KD, Garcia-Crespo KE, Gabryszewski SJ, Shaffer AL 3rd, Domachowske JB, Rosenberg HF. B cells are not essential for Lactobacillus-mediated protection against lethal pneumovirus infection. J Immunol. 2014 Jun 1;192(11):5265-72.

Kumar RK, Foster PS, Rosenberg HF. Respiratory viral infection, epithelial cytokines and innate lymphoid cells in asthma exacerbations. J. Leukocyte Biol. 2014 Sep;96(3):391-396.

Percopo CM, Dyer KD, Ochkur SI, Luo JL, Fischer ER, Lee NA, Lee JJ, Domachowske JB, Rosenberg HF. Activated mouse eosinophils protect against lethal respiratory virus infection. Blood. 2014 Jan 30;123(5):743-52.

Glineur SF, Renshaw RW, Percopo CM, Dyer KD, Dubovi EJ, Domachowske JB, Rosenberg HF. Novel pneumoviruses (PnVs): evolution and inflammatory pathology. Virology. 2013 Sep 1;443(2):257-64.

Rosenberg HF, Dyer KD, Foster PS. Eosinophils: changing perspectives in health and disease. Nat Rev Immunol. 2013. Jan;13(1):9-22.

Visit PubMed for a complete publication listing.

Last Updated March 05, 2015