Pascale Alard, Ph.D.

Current focus:

Dr. Alard is involved in the education of Medical, Dental and Graduate students.  She is also interested in education research and seeks to improve long-term retention and help students become self-directed and life-long learners. She is committed to fostering an inclusive environment and enhancing exposure of students to effective learning/teaching and mentoring/managing strategies and provide opportunities to students underrepresented in STEM. She directs the NIH funded postbaccalaureate Research Education program (R25GM148314) geared toward enhancing the number of students underrepresented in STEM who are admitted and graduate with a PhD in Biomedical science.

Research Interest:

A balance between pathogenic and regulatory cells is crucial for the control of autoimmune disease development.  Indeed, a dysregulation of the immune response, including aberrant regulatory cell and antigen presenting cell (APC) function, plays a major role in the induction of diabetes in NOD mice and lupus in (NZWxNZB)F1 mice.  In these mice, the deficiency in CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cell number and function, as well as the presence of APC exhibiting pro-inflammatory characteristics, lead to the induction of pathogenic  cells.  Microorganisms have been shown to prevent diabetes and lupus development, and are capable of evading immune response via induction of tolerogenic APC and regulatory cells. Therefore, developing strategies that enhance tolerogenic APC and the levels and activity of this regulatory T cell population could lead to the prevention and amelioration of these autoimmune diseases, e.g., enhancing immunoregulation in autoimmune-prone mice using components of the gut microbiota or natural anti-inflammatory compounds such as curcumin.

Selected Publications (out of 67):

J.N. Manirarora, M.M. Kosiewicz and P. Alard. 2020. Feeding lactobacilli impacts lupus progression in (NZBxNZW)F1 lupus-prone mice by enhancing immunoregulation. Autoimmunity, 2020 Sep;53(6):323-332.  doi: 10.1080/08916934.2020.1777282

A. Zirnheld, M. Villard, M.M. Kosiewicz, P. Alard. 2019. Beta-catenin stabilization in NOD dendritic cells increases IL-12 production and subsequent induction of IFNgamma-producing T cells. Journal of Leukocyte Biology 106(6):1349-1358. doi: 10.1002/JLB.3A0919-244R.

M.M. Kosiewicz, A.Y. Chhabra, P. Alard. 2014. Interactions of gut microbiota and inflammatory responses. FEBS Letters. 588:4195-4206.PMID: 24681103.

J. N. Manirarora, S. A. Parnell, Y-H. Hu. M. M. Kosiewicz, and P. Alard.  2011.  NOD dendritic cells stimulated with lactobacilli preferentially produce IL-10 versus IL-12 and decrease diabetes incidence.  Clin. Dev. Immunol.  2011:630187. 

M. M. Kosiewicz,  A. L. Zirnheld and P. Alard.  2011.  Gut microbiota, immunity and disease: a complex relationship.  Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology. 2(190):1-11.

J. N. Manirarora, M. M. Kosiewicz, S. A. Parnell, and P. Alard.  2008.  APC activation restores functional CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells in NOD mice that can prevent diabetes development.  PLoS ONE 3 (11):e3739.

P. Alard, J. N. Manirarora, S. A. Parnell, J. L. Hudkins, S. L. Clark and M. M. Kosiewicz.  2006.  Deficiency in NOD APC function may be responsible for sub-optimal CD4+CD25+ T cell-mediated regulation and Type 1 diabetes development in NOD mice.  Diabetes.  55:2098-2105.