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)
Sam Kazer
Peter Lotfy
Andrew Kwong
Joshua De Sousa Casal
Jaclyn Long
Kyle Kimler
Faith Taliaferro
Erica Langan
Chelsea Asare

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)
SARS-CoV-2 Receptor ACE2 Is an Interferon-Stimulated Gene in Human Airway Epithelial Cells and Is Detected in Specific Cell Subsets across Tissues.
Ziegler et al. Cell (2020)
Are we there yet? An immune field trip through human embryonic development. Niederlova et al. Immunity (2022)

Jose is named a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences!
June 2021
Jose was named a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences, where he joins 21 other Pew Scholars within their cohort. This provides support for all lab members to explore how different cells within a tissue contribute to the initiation and propagation of an inflammatory response. Read more about the award here.

Sam is awarded the Cancer Research Institute Irvington Postdoctoral Fellowship!
June 2021
Sam Kazer, our first postdoc in the lab, was awarded a Cancer Research Institute Irvington Postdoctoral Fellowship for his proposed work to study trained immunity and inflammatory memory in respiratory viral infections! Read more about the award here.

JOM Lab joins two CZI Pediatric Networks!
September 2021
The Ordovas-Montanes lab will participate in two CZI Pediatrics Networks focused on generating single-cell atlases from healthy children. Jose will serve as coordinating PI on a project to generate a global pediatric cell atlas of nasal and oral mucosa where the team hopes to understand the single-cell biology of the nasal mucosa in children living in several cities in the United States, the Bahamas, The Gambia, Bangladesh, and India. The lab is supporting a project coordinated by Jay Thiagarajah to map the early childhood gut across ancestry, geography and environment with groups in the United States and Pakistan. Read more about the CZI Pediatric Networks here.