Our Faculty : Primary Faculty

Bonnie B. Blomberg, Ph.D.

Current Research Interests
One major focus of our current research is to better define the mechanisms by which the aged immune system is suboptimal and how to improve it. We have discovered molecular and cellular biomarkers in mice and humans which predict the quality of the humoral response. These include IgG memory B cells, the enzyme activation-induced cytidine deaminase, AID, and inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-a. We have focused predominantly on B lymphocytes as we have seen their intrinsic defects with age and these directly impact the humoral (antibody) response, e.g. the influenza vaccine response in humans. Utilizing a mouse model we have been able to reverse the negative effects of aging and we are currently testing mechanisms for effects of inflammatory fat tissue on B cell subsets, function and repertoire (autoimmunity).

Another major focus of research in this lab, in collaboration with Dr. Michael Antoni in Psychology, is to understand the positive role of cognitive behavioral stress management (CBSM) on reducing inflammation and improving the immune response in breast cancer patients. A key new finding is that the CBSM intervention not only improves the immune system and gives less inflammation but also that overall survival in the breast cancer patients is improved.

Research Profile