Thomas G. Forsthuber, M.D., Ph.D.
Jesse H. and Mary Gibbs Jones Chair in Biotechnology
Areas of Specialization
- Mechanisms Promoting Autoimmune Diseases
- Translational Research That Can Be Directly Applied
Ph.D. in Immunology; University Tübingen, Germany
M.D. in Medicine; University Tübingen, Germany
Green ERK-Deficient T Cells
in Lymphatic Tissue
Erroneous activation of the immune system can lead to autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS). Dr. Forsthuber's lab pursues several lines of investigation to understand how the immune system, in particular T cells, contribute to autoimmune diseases and how to modulate T cell immunity for therapeutic purposes in humans. Specifically, he studies immune mechanisms in the central nervous system in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), the animal model for MS. Moreover, Dr. Forsthuber studies human autoimmune heart disease in a model called experimental autoimmune myocarditis. His research is aimed towards direct applicability to human diseases, for example by developing novel drugs for autoimmune diseases and biomarkers to monitor the efficacy of treatments for autoimmune diseases.
Work in the laboratory focuses on better understanding the pathologic immune mechanisms that driving autoimmune diseases such as MS, T1D, and autoimmune myocarditis. Specifically, the lab studies immune mechanisms in the central nervous system during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), the animal model for MS. The lab has generated transgenic and knockout mouse models to investigate the role of important autoimmune diseaserelated genes such as HLA-DR. The lab uses immunologic, cell biology, and molecular biology methods such as cytokine detection assays, flow cytometry, RT-PCR, and many other assays in their studies.