Moderate estimates suggest that one out of five individuals in the Western World suffers from some form of allergic condition. In particular, food allergic reactions are of increasing concern in the United States. Approximately one fourth of all American households face restrictions in their diet due to a family member suffering from food allergies. Children appear particularly susceptible when dissecting the age group of peanut butter and cow milk allergic individuals. The Fiebiger Laboratory hopes to define new strategies for diagnosis and treatment of food allergic children.
Dr. Fiebiger and her colleagues are interested in immune responses in the mucosa of the gastrointestinal tract. Their main goal is to better understand basic mechanisms that regulate the pathology of food allergies and are studying general issues of the molecular biology of immune recognition receptors and IgE-mediated activation of the immune system. The gastrointestinal immune system balances the ability to respond to pathogens while remaining unresponsive to food antigens as well as the commensal microflora. In the recent past, the ability of the gastro intestinal immune system to maintain this balance appears to be challenged. Inappropriate immune responses towards food-born antigens result in allergy. A detailed understanding of function, regulation and trafficking of Fc-epsilon-RI will improve understanding of IgE-mediated antigen presentation and hopefully help to establish new treatment strategies for such allergies.
Goals of Dr. Fiebiger's research include:
- Understanding IgE-mediated immune events in the gastrointestinal tract and gaining new insight into the IgE-allergen induced activation of the immune system.
- Understanding the principles of IgE-receptor formation, quality control and function.
- Defining new, non-invasive biomarkers for eosinophilic esophagitis.
About Edda Fiebiger
Edda Fiebiger received a PhD from the University of Vienna, Austria, and completed postgraduate training at Harvard Medical School. Recent awards include: 2008 Gerber Foundation Grant; 2007 CDHNF Young Investigator Development Award; NASPGHAN; 2007 Harvard Digestive Disease Center Pilot Project Grant; and 2006 Junior Faculty Award at Boston Children's Hospital, Eleanor and Miles Shore Foundation.