The Mehandru Lab studies the biology of mucosal dendritic cells. Dendritic cells, key antigen presenting cells are critical to immune homeostasis at steady state and immune defense during pathogenic invasion. In addition, mucosal dendritic cells instruct cellular traffic by providing key homing signals to lymphocytes. The study of dendritic cells lends itself to multiple disciplines within immunology, including inflammation, host-environmental interface and vaccinology. The Mehandru Lab channels dendritic cell biology to study immune-microbial cross-talk at steady state. Additionally, the laboratory is interested in harnessing the immunizing properties of dendritic cells to improve the efficacy and longevity of mucosal vaccines.
The goal of all successful research is better understanding and ultimately the treatment of human disease. With this as the guiding principle, another theme in the lab is the study of mucosal diseases in humans. Using state-of-the-art facilities for immunomonitoring, the laboratory studies mucosal pathophysiology in immune deficiency states like HIV and inflammatory disorders like IBD.