Immune tolerance is the body’s ability to accept antigens produced by the body itself (or recognized from a previous encounter) so the body does not attack its own cells. Cells and molecules regulate our immune tolerance and play a key role in the body’s ability to accept an organ transplant. As Canada Research Chair in Tissue-Specific Immune Tolerance, Dr. Sarah Crome is studying how tissue-resident immune cells contribute to immune tolerance and tissue homeostasis.
Crome and her research team are focusing on the innate lymphoid cell family (immune cells) and how they are affected when a patient receives healthy stem cells from a donor. They are exploring how these cells maintain the balance between tolerance and immunity. They are uncovering the mechanisms that control innate lymphoid cell development and function and determining how to harness the regulatory or tissue repair functions of these cells in transplantation and autoimmunity therapies. Ultimately, their work will improve approaches to transplantation and regenerative medicine.