The Idoyaga Lab is focused on the function and biology of very unique cells of the immune system, Dendritic cells (DCs). DCs are specialized antigen-presenting cells that initiate and modulate our body’s immune responses to invading microbes. DCs also play a crucial role in maintaining immune unresponsiveness to our own tissues and environmental and/or innocuous substances. Considering their importance in orchestrating the quality and quantity of immune responses, DCs are an indisputable target for vaccines and therapies.

DCs are not one cell type, but a network of cells comprised of many subsets or subpopulations with distinct developmental pathways and tissue localization. It is becoming apparent that each DC subset is different in its capacity to induce and modulate specific types of immune responses; however, there is still a lack of resolution and deep understanding of DC subset functional specialization both in mouse and human. This gap in knowledge is an impediment for the rational design of immune interventions. Our research program focuses on advancing our understanding of mouse and human DC subsets, revealing their endowed capacity to induce distinct types of immune responses, and designing novel strategies to exploit them for vaccines and therapies.

Our Mission Statement

Our lab aims to elucidate the functional properties of dendritic cells and narrow the gap between human and mouse dendritic cell biology. Our ultimate goal is to harness dendritic cells for novel therapeutic strategies for cancer, autoimmunity and infectious diseases. To enable our hypothesis-driven research, we will use innovative approaches from the molecular to the organismal level. We uphold the highest ethical standards, embrace a collaborative environment and empower the next generation of scientists.