Our ability to manipulate immune function in inflamed tissues is currently limited by a lack of fundamental knowledge of how cells function in an inflammatory milieu. Current approaches to mitigate tissue inflammation focus on general immunosuppression or general blockade of leukocyte trafficking into tissues. In principle, these strategies prevent disease but complications due to increased infectious disease have quashed enthusiasm. Therefore therapies need to become more inflammation-specific, be that by preventing recruitment of specific types of T cells (blocking T cells for an allergic response but leaving influx of leukocytes for bacterial clearance in the same tissue intact) or by blocking signals for specific cytokine production. This Program seeks to identify context-dependent events that are critical for immune function in specific inflammatory settings. To achieve this goal, the Program has developed innovative tools for intravital imaging of inflamed tissue. The major objective of Core A is to provide administrative and scientific oversight to the individual projects and Cores. Its scientific mission is to promote and create forums for scientific exchange within the Projects, between groups at the Institution and the broader international scientific community. To meet these objectives. Core A members will schedule regular meetings between all of the project participants. Monthly meetings will be scheduled between Dr Fowell and the administrative staff to ensure good communication and safety compliance and monthly meetings will be organized with project leaders and the accountant to discuss individual accounts. To promote scientific exchange, monthly research-in-progress meetings will be held to discuss conceptual and technical advances in individual projects that may impact the Program as a whole. An annual "Imaging of Inflamed Tissues" symposium will be organized from within this Core. The intra-vital imaging field of immunity at non-lymphoid tissues is in its infancy. We see this Symposium as a way to nucleate scientist across the country to discuss challenges in the field and to exchange ideas on innovative technology that will facilitate the in situ study of immunity, infectious or autoimmune, in inflamed tissues.
The goal of this Program is to identify the fundamental control points in T cell tissue immunity. These studies will help to design therapeutics that promote immune responses in chronic infections and to mitigate destructive inflammation in autoimmunity and other inflammatory diseases.