last update: 2022-09-21

We study immune responses and interactions between neuronal, glial, endothelial and immune cells in CNS and its barriers. Drawing from the fields of immunology, vascular biology, and neurobiology, we use state-of-art techniques of genetically engineered mouse models, confocal microscopy, intravital two-photon microscopy, multicolor flow cytometry, and spatiotemporal single-cell sequencing to mechanistically understand immune regulation and dysregulation during CNS homeostasis and diseases. We focus on three major areas of research:

CNS immune tolerance and privilege

Determine the mechanisms in the thymus, lymphoid organs, and CNS and its barriers that contribute to CNS (brain and retina) immune tolerance and privilege

CNS autoimmunity and neuroinflammation

Define the roles of microglia, border-associated macrophages, dendritic cells, T cells, and endothelial cells and their interactions in CNS autoimmunity and neuroinflammation (multiple sclerosis, neuromyelitis optica, and uveitis)

CNS barriers and fluids

Characterize the immunological niches in CNS barriers (meninges, choroidal plexus, RPE/choroid, ciliary body, BBB/BRB) and fluids (CSF, aqueous humor) and identify their roles in regulating immune homeostasis and inflammation in the CNS