Douglas Laboratory

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The Douglas Laboratory has extensive experience investigating the cellular immunology and immunopathogenesis of HIV/AIDS. The lab is also involved in studies examining the interaction between immunology, psychiatric disease, neurologic disease, and HIV. Led by Steven D. Douglas, MD, the lab has received continuous NIH funding to investigate Neurokinin-1 and Substance P at the basic, translational, and clinical levels. Over a period of more than 35 years, the research team showed that Aprepitant, an NK1R antagonist, has anti-inflammatory properties, decreases PD1, CD163, and SP, and is safe for use in HIV-positive subjects. The lab has also demonstrated antiretroviral effects of neurokinin-1 (Substance P) receptor antagonists.

Dr. Douglas is the laboratory Core Director in the NIMH-funded Penn Mental Health AIDS Research Center (PMHARC), and is the Principal Investigator for studies of biomarkers, quantitative pharmacology, neuroimaging, and neurobehavioral characterization. He has held major leadership roles in many projects focused on immunologic mechanisms of HIV pathogenesis. In addition, Dr. Douglas has had a pioneering role in establishing Core laboratories at UPenn, CHOP, and for the major AIDS Clinical Trials Networks in pediatrics, adolescents and adults. He has held a major role in the global immunology agenda related to HIV/AIDS for the NIH, and is an appointed member of the Scientific Oversight Committee for the IMPAACT Network, the IMPAACT Laboratory Steering Committee, and the WIHS External Advisory Board.

Dr. Douglas was a member of the NIH Office of AIDS Research External Review Committee for the Trans NIH NeuroAIDS Research Program. He has served as PI of an Integrated Preclinical-Clinical Program (IPCP) (2005-2010) and a UO1 (2009-present), and he is currently co-PI for an IPCP of HIV/SIV. He serves on many NIH and other federal review panels.

Project Highlights

  • Investigation of Neurokinin-1, both truncated and full length form, and how the isoforms differ in monocytes;
  • Investigation of abnormalities in macrophage immunity, and how cells, when manipulated by drugs, affect both the brain and the immune system in HIV;
  • The role of chronic immune activation, immune suppression, and inflammation in depression.
Leader

Steven D. Douglas, MD

Section Chief for Immunology
Dr. Douglas has extensive laboratory experience investigating the cellular immunology of HIV/AIDS, primary immune deficiency diseases, and cellular immunopathologies. In addition, he has had significant involvement in studies related to immunological interactions.