Our laboratory is composed of undergraduate and graduate students who are working to understand how T-cell regeneration occurs after Stem Cell Transplantation or other clinical settings of human lymphopenia. Our goal is to eventually develop treatments to accelerate the regeneration of the immune system in immunocompromized patients. During the past decade, there have been considerable progresses in understanding fundamental processes that regulate the recovery of the immune system post-Bone Marrow Transplantation or following high dose of chemotherapy. Recent insights into the biology of T-cell depletion have led to the discovery of new targets for therapy. Simultaneously, discoveries in immunology have led to the development of new biological reagents capable of regulating white blood cell homeostasis. The Guimond lab has developed a close partnership and collaboration with clinical scientists at the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital in order to accelerate the translation of our lab 's discoveries into new therapies for patients. Efforts are made to:
Understand the basic science of T-cell depletion. Lymphocyte homeostasis is complex and a careful analysis of how naïve CD8+ and CD4+ T-cells are regenerated after T-cell depletion suggests that each subset posses their own niche that minimally overlap with each other. To accelerate the regeneration of the T-cell compartment of lymphopenic patients, we need to define the composition of the peripheral lymphoid niche that regulates CD4 and CD8 lymphocytes. Understand the immunosuppression associated with Graft-Versus-Host Disease (GVHD). It is well known that the adverse effects of GVHD greatly exaggerates the immunosuppression normally associated with Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation. As a result, transplanted patients experiencing GVHD are extremely vulnerable to infections and/or relapse due to lack of white blood cell recovery. Our lab is making efforts to understand the adverse effects of GVHD on the peripheral niche that regulates T-cell regeneration. Identify strategies to decrease immunosuppression associated with cancer treatment and accelerate immune reconstitution. Lack of lymphocyte reconstitution represents a serious complication for many patients treated with high dose chemotherapy or following hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation. It is well known that in most clinical setting of human lymphopenia, CD4+ T lymphocytes will never recover to normal levels. We are working on pre-clinical models of human lymphopenia to experiment drugs or strategies that can be used to enhance T-cell regeneration. We are trying to modify the peripheral niche in order to augment Homeostatic Peripheral Expansion of low affinity CD4+ T cells. In addition, efforts are made to differentiate T lymphocytes in vitro in order to provide a potential new source of T lymphocytes to lymphopenic patients.