Welcome to the Ajami Lab! The Ajami Laboratory is focused on advancing our understanding of the function and biology of the brain’s specific innate immune cells: microglia.
Dr. Ajami’s previous work identified the origin of microglia in adult brains and demonstrated the ways in which the recruitment of highly plastic monocytes during certain brain pathology transiently but critically contributed to inflammation and its resolution until restoration of homeostasis (Ajami et al. 2007; 2011, Nature Neuroscience).
Her most recent work has led to the identification of the heterogeneity of myeloid cells in neuropathologies, and the immunophenotypic signatures of microglia in mouse models of both neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation (Ajami et al. 2018, Nature Neuroscience). By adopting a novel single-cell proteomics approach, CyTOF (mass cytometry), she has demonstrated that microglia are a network of cells comprised of several subpopulations with distinct immune responses in different neurological disorders. This work has resulted in the discovery of a new therapeutic target for Multiple Sclerosis and ALS disease and has recently been licensed by a biotech company for further development.
The Ajami Laboratory is currently investigating how each microglia subset contributes to different neuropathologies as well as the mechanisms that control the functional identity of the different subsets in both mice and humans. We are looking to identify dysregulated pathways in myeloid cells that can then be harnessed to treat different diseases of the CNS, including the progressive forms of multiple sclerosis (PPMS and SPMS), parkinson's disease (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and alzheimer's disease (AD).