The liver is a unique immunological organ and home to cells of the innate and adaptive immune system. Immune dysregulation in the liver is a contributing factor to many disease processes including viral hepatitis, autoimmune hepatitis, liver cancer and inflammatory liver damage leading to fibrosis.
Dr. MacParland's research program is focused on translating fundamental knowledge about the immune biology of the liver into clinical applications. Dr. MacParland and her research team are using advanced genomics-based approaches, including single cell RNA sequencing to understand how liver immune dysregulation drives human liver diseases (Nature Communications, 2018). They are also examining how the liver immune environment can be therapeutically manipulated using nanoparticles to slow or reverse ongoing damage (Nature Materials, 2016).