Elia Tait Wojno, PhD
Allergies: How the immune system can make your pet miserable
Dr. Elia Tait Wojno explores the immune system when it functions correctly (to eliminate parasites) and also when it malfunctions (resulting in allergic disease).
- Similarities between dog and human allergies. Tait Wojno and her team have studied blood samples from dozens of canine patients at the Cornell University Hospital for Animals, including dogs with skin itching, redness, rashes, and other allergic signs, and dogs without allergies. They found that allergic dogs have a specific type of immune cell in their blood, cells also found in allergic humans and mice. The discovery means that human treatments for these types of allergic signs could also work in canine medicine.
- Studying how lipids and proteins affect inflammation during infection and allergy. Tait Wojno is exploring how the oily molecules called lipids and other protein molecules called cytokines affect the process of inflammation. Inflammation causes some of the signs and symptoms of allergic disease but helps the body fight infection with parasitic worms. Understanding how lipids and cytokines work to control inflammation will inform the development of new drugs that target these factors to treat allergies or fight parasitic infections.
- Exploring how the immune system develops. In collaboration with scientists here at Cornell and at the University of Rochester, Tait Wojno’s laboratory has begun studying how the cells of the immune system develop over a lifetime and what happens to make it all work correctly in animals and humans of different ages.