Studying how inflammation drives memory formation in human barrier tissues

Our research

Understanding the principles of how inflammation drives memory formation in human barrier tissues in order to program and re-program them in human disease

We are developing an interdisciplinary training environment composed of immunologists, engineers, computational biologists, and others that harnesses emerging techniques to answer fundamental questions of biological and clinical relevance in barrier tissue biology. We use a variety of techniques such as single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq), organoid models, epigenetic profiling, flow cytometry, and microscopy in an effort to answer pressing questions surrounding human health and disease. The fundamental questions we try to answer through our work in the lab are:
Which cellular compartments harbor memories of inflammation in tissue, and how might we develop effective mechanisms by which to promote or erase them? In short, where are health and disease stored in a tissue?

Our team
Jose Ordovas-Montanes (PI)
Amanda Hornick
Joshua De Sousa Casal
Elena Christian
Peter Lotfy
Ben Doran
Marko Vukovic
Faith Taliaferro
Martin Axegard

We are located in the Enders Building of Boston Children’s Hospital in the Longwood Medical Area. We’re always looking to grow our team!

Selected publications

Allergic inflammatory memory in human respiratory epithelial progenitor cells. Ordovas-Montanes et al. Nature (2018)

Intra-and inter-cellular rewiring of the human colon during ulcerative colitis. Smillie et al. Cell (2019)
The regulation of immunological processes by peripheral neurons in homeostasis and disease. Ordovas-Montanes et al. Trends in Immunology (2015)
Nociceptive sensory neurons drive interleukin-23-mediated psoriasiform skin inflammation. Riol-Blanco et al. Nature (2014)

The lab's first review is officially out!
February 3, 2020
The lab's first review is out now in Nature Reviews Immunology, titled "Distribution and storage of inflammatory memory in barrier tissue". We discuss what that means in terms of factors like cell state, cell lineage, and environmental exposure. Thanks to our co-authors from the Rakoff-Nahoum and Shalek labs!

COVID-19 resources now available under COVID-19 Resources page
March 14, 2020

Study Describing ACE2 as an Interferon-Stimulated Gene Out in Cell
April 21, 2020