Basic and Translational Research


Dr. Brooks laboratory has focused on the interaction of environmental agents with inflammatory reactions in respiratory mucosa as it pertains to mechanisms of oxidative stress in allergy and asthma. We have ongoing investigations in two areas 1) the role of Mycoplasma pneumoniae in asthma and 2) the role of oxidative stress and anti-oxidants on the inflammatory response in asthma.

  1. A translational component of this work involves the roles of Mycoplasma pneumoniae in the severity of asthma in collaboration with scientists in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Joel Baseman, PhD and Peter Dube, PhD. Our ongoing work in this area involves monitoring patients with asthma and Mycoplasma infection via identification of CARDS Toxin (Community Aquired Respiratory Distress Syndrome) and characterization of the immunological mechanisms (T-cell phenotype) and clinical scores.
  2. My lab previously identified non-IgE dependent mechanisms of mast cell activation with pollen from mountain cedar and environmental pollutants, acrolein and SO2, through the generation of reactive oxygen species. We are using animal models of asthma to investigate therapeutic responses to novel strategies targeting the oxidant stress response. Our ongoing studies seek to further define those mechanisms with the goal of developing anti-oxidant therapies for clinical use.