Th2 immunity is essential for defence against worm infections, and the same type of immune response is also responsible for allergies and allergic asthma. Although many of us are familiar with the symptoms of a Th2 response, very little is know about the signals that establish or exacerbate the immune processes involved.
Recent evidence suggests that the activation of immune cells is associated with dramatic changes in their energy use, as the activated cells begin to burn sugar in a frenetic attempt to fuel their rapid proliferation and increased function. A major focus of our research is understanding how these metabolic changes regulate, and are regulated by, the Th2 response. We are interested in the influence of Th2 cytokines on metabolic decisions, the lymph node- and tissue-based signals that trigger different metabolic outcomes, and the ability of pathogens to manipulate these regulatory networks.