Role of B Cells in the Pathogenesis of Autoimmune Diseases
Our research focus is to understand the underlying pathogenic mechanisms of autoimmune diseases, specifically systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), on the role of B cells in the development and progression of these diseases. Autoimmune diseases are characterized by the presence of antibodies against self-antigens. As an antibody producing cell, the B cell is a key player in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. However, B cells also have other functions beyond antibody production. Our research focus is to investigate autoantibody independent functions of B cells including interaction with other immune cells and other relevant organ systems. Our research focus in RA is to understand the mechanism of how B cells interact with osteoclasts and osteoblasts to contribute to bone erosion process in this disease.