Autoimmunity

In autoimmunity, the immune system fails to recognize self and attacks healthy tissues. For example, in type 1 diabetes, the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas are attached by autoreactive T cells. The Faustman Lab has identified a key family of immune cells responsible for regulating the immune response. This has led to the discovery of novel antibodies to correct this misregulation as well as a drug screening initiative to discover a role for existing and affordable therapies. Learn more: See Diabetes Metab Res Rev paper

BCG

For the last 20 years, the Faustman Lab has been the leader in investigating the potential of the Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine to prevent and reverse autoimmune diseases including type 1 diabetes. This research has advanced from early mouse studies, moving to mechanistic, in vitro trials and now a multi-trial human clinical research program. The Faustman lab showed that BCG boosts a cytokine called TNF, which is beneficial in autoimmune diseases by directly eliminating the autoreactive T cells that attack the pancreas, as well as by inducing beneficial immune cells called regulatory T cells (Tregs).

In 2018 the Faustman Lab announced long term data on BCG treated patients followed for more than five years. All of the patients in the studies showed a durable and significant improvement in HbA1c. Learn More: See njpVaccine paper

For more information on our MGH Clinical Trials, please download our brochure. BCG Brochure

Oncology

In cancer, the immune system is tricked into not attacking the cancerous cells. The Faustman lab identified a population of regulatory immune cells essential to turning the immune system back on. This has led to the generation of a novel class of antibodies specific to the tumor microenviromonment. Learn more: See Trends Mol Med paper