Research in the laboratory of Alfred D. Doyle, Ph.D., is focused on understanding the mechanisms of allergic disease. The primary goal is to translate basic science findings to benefit human health through disease prevention, improved diagnostics, new therapies and therapeutic strategies.
Dr. Doyle, an immunologist, has partnered with physician-scientist Benjamin L. Wright, M.D., and together they translate ideas from bench to bedside. The Wright-Doyle Lab pursues studies ranging from cell culture and animal models to clinical studies and trials. The lab's investigative team is actively pursuing novel therapeutics with the goal of not only treating but also curing allergic disease.
Follow the Wright-Doyle Lab on Twitter.
- Environmental factors influencing allergic disease. The Wright-Doyle Laboratory has identified a link between common household detergents and food allergy. For example, the detergent sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), also known as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), is found in numerous household products including toothpaste. The lab's research team found that concentrations of detergent as little as 1/6,000 of that found in toothpaste can cause esophageal barrier dysfunction in human esophageal cell cultures and promote an inflammatory response. Using a mouse model, they found that SDS induced extensive inflammation in the esophagus, similar to the food allergy-associated disease eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE).
- Pathogenesis of eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). The incidence of this food allergy-associated disease has increased dramatically in just the past few decades. EoE is a primary cause of emergency room visits for food impaction in adults. It also can cause failure to thrive in children. The mechanisms of this disease are poorly understood and there is no cure. Animal models are a critical resource for understanding disease mechanisms. Dr. Doyle has applied his expertise developing mouse models of human disease to generate new transgenic models of EoE. These models present robust disease pathology similar to what is seen in human patients with EoE. Like humans, these models are responsive to steroid treatment and depleting eosinophils does not markedly improve disease activity. To help identify new diagnostics and treatment strategies for EoE, the Wright-Doyle Laboratory is employing these valuable models to reveal disease mechanisms.
- Novel therapeutic development. Allergic disease has no cure. Promising advances have been made in immunotherapy and biologics for many types of allergies. However, a cure for allergic disease remains elusive. Dr. Doyle has a long-standing interest in therapeutically targeting the adaptive immune cells that mediate allergic disease. He has developed intellectual property on a new approach for specifically targeting these cells.
Significance to patient care
The needs of the patient are central to the Wright-Doyle research program. Allergic diseases are an enormous and increasing burden for patients and society. Unmet needs include identifying the factors that contribute to allergic disease, developing improved and less invasive diagnostics and enhancing disease management through new strategies and therapeutics. The Wright-Doyle Lab is pursuing cutting-edge bench-to-bedside research to target each of these unmet needs toward ultimately finding a cure.
- Director, Special Animal Services Laboratory, Mayo Clinic, 2017-present.