Immunology Research

The Immunology Research Program (IRP), established in 2008, is part of the Henry Ford Cancer Institute & the Center for Cutaneous Biology and Immunology Research, Department of Dermatology. The IRP focuses on both basic and clinical immunology, related to cancer, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. The IRP enables basic and clinical investigators to work together to advance the battle against diseases through translational research, ultimately resulting in improved clinical care. Currently, the IRP has two Investigators with NIH and foundation grants and expects to have 4-5 new Investigators by 2022.

Dysregulated immune development and functions are the major causes for cancer, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Epigenetic regulation, including histone modification and noncoding RNAs, plays key roles in immune cell development and function. Using a variety of genetically modified mice as disease models and state-of-the-art technologies, the IRP researchers have identified multiple epigenetic factors, including noncoding RNAs and histone modification enzymes, in the development and function of Immune cells including natural killer T cells (NKT), γδ T cells, tissue resident macrophages and dendritic cells, which are related to cancer and autoimmune/inflammatory disease development. These findings will shed new light on the pathogenesis of immune-related diseases and eventually lead to novel immunotherapy strategies for the treatment. In addition, the IRP researchers also focus on the precision medicine. Using high throughput gene expression profiles, the IRP researchers identified small non-coding RNAs, called miRNAs as potential serum biomarkers for disease prediction, early diagnosis and immunotherapy response, including type 1 diabetes, vitiligo, gout, arthritis, and melanoma. These studies will contribute to future disease management and treatment selection.

The Dermatology Clinical Research Unit conducts state-of-the-art, high-impact clinical trials involving all aspects of general dermatology. We have over 20 years of experience conducting phase 2, 3 and 4 trials. Our mission is to participate in the development of novel treatments that will enhance the lives of our dermatology patients.

The Immunology Research Program is led by Qing-sheng Mi, M.D., Ph.D. (313) 876-1017.

Contact information for the Dermatology clinical research program is Linda Stein Gold, M.D. (313) 916-1984.