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ELEANOR N. FISH, Ph.D.
Keywords: interferons, chemokines, infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases, antivirals
Research Interests - Cytokines: Interferons and Chemokines
Dr. Fish studies the interactions of cytokines, specifically interferons and chemokines, with their receptors in normal and diseased tissues and cells. Her research has focused on 2 areas of human immunology: autoimmune diseases and viral infectious diseases.
Dr. Fish's studies relating to rheumatoid arthritis, using human patient specimens and mouse models of disease, have led to the identification of a fibrocyte stem cell population that may be associated with the earliest pathogenic events at onset of disease.
Employing an EAE mouse model of multiple sclerosis and mice that are null for IFN-ß, ongoing studies are directed towards identification of the immunomodulatory events associated with IFN-ß treatment in multiple sclerosis that result in disease modification.
The other focus of Dr. Fish's research relates to host-pathogen interactions, associated with human viral infections. Her group has concentrated on 2 respiratory infections – SARS and influenza A – for which they have provided evidence that IFN treatment is effective in limiting virus replication. This led to a clinical study during the 2003 outbreak of SARS, which demonstrated the safety and efficacy of IFN treatment. Most recently, following up on pre-clinical data relating to IFN/influenza antagonistic effects, specifically the ability of IFN treatment to override the inhibitory effects of avian H5N1, H1N1 and pandemic H1N1 infections, a randomized, control study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of IFN treatment in hospitalized patients severely infected with influenza A viruses has been initiated. Another aspect of her influenza virus infection studies led to the recent identification of a novel immune cell implicated in type 2 immunity, designated late-activator APC (LAPC).
In other collaborative studies with cardiotropic coxsackievirus B3 infection, the therapeutic effectiveness of IFN-ß treatment in inhibiting virus replication and limiting cardiac lesions was demonstrated, which has provided the basis for an ongoing clinical trial in Europe.
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