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Mast Cells in Health and Disease

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 — Concurrent Symposia Session IV

Noon – 2:00 p.m.

Balcony C


  • Andy Hurwitz, NCI
  • Alasdair Gilfillan, NIAID


Mast cells and basophils are cells of common hematopoietic origin that have gained notoriety over the years for their role as central players in atopic disorders and anaphylaxis. It is only recently that their role in other aspects of health and disease has become better appreciated. The biochemical processes regulating their development and activation have been extensively investigated. In addition, unique roles for both basophils and mast cells have been proposed in immune activation, hypersensitivity, and control of other pathophysiologic processes. The goal of this symposium is to showcase various NIH laboratories that study these two cell populations in such diverse diseases as allergy and other hypersensitivities, immune deficiency, infectious disease, and cancer; as well as the laboratories that examine ontogeny, activation, and regulation of their cellular functions. The diversity of the proposed speakers will invite researchers from many disciplines and provide a rich environment for discussion and future collaborations.

Systemic Mast Cell Activation Syndrome: A New Clinical Entity?
Dean Metcalfe, NIAID

Human Genes that Impact the Mast Cell Compartment
Todd Wilson, NIAID

Mast Cells Regulate Immune Tolerance in Prostate Cancer *FARE Award Winner
Stephanie Watkins, NCI

Regulation of Mast Cell Activation by Co-Receptors: Pathological Implications
Michael Beaven, NHLBI

Opposing Roles for Alternatively Spliced Variants of the MS4A Gene Family Member, FcεRIβ, in Mast Cell Activation and Survival
Glenn Cruse, NIAID

Sphingolipids and Allergy: New Insights on the Regulation of Mast Cell Responsiveness and Beyond
Ana Olivera, NIAMS

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