The Silverman Lab investigates early-life modifiable factors influencing the development and function of the immune system and harnesses these factors to prevent autoimmune diabetes (T1D). The lab discovered that the major histocompatibility complex class II E molecule prevents T1D by shaping the intestinal microbiota early in life. These protective early-life microbes then educate the immune system to prevent autoimmunity.
The Behrens Lab is interested in the pathogenesis and treatment of cytokine storm syndromes, including the hemophagocytic syndromes Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) and Macrophage Activation Syndrome (MAS). These are uniquely pediatric immunologic conditions that result in severe systemic inflammation and death if unrecognized and untreated.