The Laboratory of Clinical Immunology and Microbiology (LCIM) conducts clinical and basic science, and epidemiologic research into human immunologic, inflammatory, and infectious diseases.
Primary immunodeficiencies (PIDs) that arise from a variety of mutations in genes involved in the immune system are a major focus area of the laboratory. To develop a comprehensive understanding of the natural history and pathogenesis of PIDs, the LCIM integrates clinical studies with laboratory investigations at molecular-, cellular-, and systems-level scales. Through exploiting knowledge gained in the clinic and in the laboratory, the LCIM aims to develop novel diagnostic methods and therapeutic approaches to manage and, ideally, cure patients of PIDs and infectious diseases.
Clinical and basic science aspects of bacterial, fungal, and viral microbiology and pathogenesis are another major concentration of LCIM investigators. Vaccine development and drug discovery efforts have led to several international clinical trials that aim to lessen the global impact of microbial diseases and prevent or minimize the emergence of drug-resistant microbes.
Training of physicians and scientists is central to the LCIM mission. The NIAID Infectious Disease Fellowship Training Program, the NIAID Primary Immune Deficiency Clinic, and the NIH Clinical Center Infectious Disease Consultation Service are integral components of the LCIM and facilitate the reciprocal education of basic scientists and clinical fellows alike.
Major Areas of Research
- Discovery of the gene mutations causing primary immune deficiencies and autoimmune disorders
- Bacterial pathogenesis (e.g., Mycobacterium, Borrelia, Chlamydia, Granulibacter)
- Fungal pathogenesis (e.g., Cryptococcus, Candida, Aspergillus)
- Viral pathogenesis (e.g., Herpes simplex and zoster, Vaccinia, Zika, Epstein-Barr)
- Development and testing of novel antimicrobial drugs, gene therapy, stem cell transplant, cytokines, monoclonal antibodies, and other therapeutics to modify or correct immune function, prevent infection, and reduce inflammation