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Personal profile

Research Interests

Research interests: Mechanisms underlying sex-related differences in autoimmune disease; meningeal inflammation and how it impacts CNS degenerative disease. Multiple Sclerosis, a CNS inflammatory disease, is the result of dysregulation of normally protective immune responses. In this disease, pathogenic immune cells gain access to the brain and spinal cord and the ensuing inflammation causes damage to myelinated nerves. Our laboratory studies how certain classes of innate immune cells, particularly mast cells and innate lymphoid cells, promote Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a CNS demyelinating disease, regulate these aberrant responses. Using a rodent model of MS, Experimental autoimmune/allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE), our work has shown that mast cells in the meninges are activated early in this disease and promote the opening of the blood brain barrier (BBB), vasculature that is relatively impermeable and normally sequesters the CNS from the entry of inflammatory cells. Current studies are focused on understanding how meningeal mast cells influence these events. In the process, we have established a new paradigm for the mast cell mediated inflammation of the meninges in immunity. A second line of research investigates the basis for sex-determined differences in MS. It is well established that females show a 3:1 higher incidence and distinct disease presentation than men. Using a mouse model of disease that recapitulates this sex dimorphism in susceptibility, we are studying the role of hormones in altering the immune responses that exacerbate disease in females and protect from disease in males.

Training Experience

1987Fellowship, National Institutes of Health

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Washington

… → 1983

Research interests

  • Allergies
  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • Autoimmunity
  • Immune Regulation
  • Immune System
  • Molecular Biology
  • Neuroscience

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Grants

  • Research Output

    An inconvenient variable: Sex hormones and their impact on T Cell responses

    Brown, M. A. & Su, M. A., Jan 1 2019, In : Journal of Immunology. 202, 7, p. 1927-1933 7 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  • 5 Scopus citations

    Male-specific IL-33 expression regulates sex-dimorphic EAE susceptibility

    Russi, A. E., Ebel, M. E., Yang, Y. & Brown, M. A., Feb 13 2018, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 115, 7, p. E1520-E1529

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 23 Scopus citations

    Mast cells and innate lymphoid cells: Underappreciated players in CNS autoimmune demyelinating disease

    Brown, M. A. & Weinberg, R. B., Mar 21 2018, In : Frontiers in immunology. 9, MAR, 514.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  • 13 Scopus citations

    Studies of mast cells: Adventures in serendipity

    Brown, M. A., Mar 13 2018, In : Frontiers in immunology. 9, MAR, 520.

    Research output: Contribution to journalShort survey

  • (T)Betting on innate lymphoid cells in CNS inflammatory disease

    Brown, M. A. & Russi, A. E., Sep 19 2017, In : Nature Immunology. 18, 10, p. 1063-1064 2 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalShort survey

    1 Scopus citations