The Immuno-regulation Laboratory (LIR) was founded by Rafael Correa Rocha in 2014, as an emerging group within the Gregorio Marañón Health Research Institute (IISGM). In 2016, Marjorie Pion joined the group as principal investigator (PI), incorporating new lines of research also related to immune regulation. Currently, it has a total of 13 investigators, 2 clinical investigators, 2 clinical trial coordinators, and 1 research manager.
The group focuses its research on the study of the immunological mechanisms involved in various diseases related to immune disorders, especially in pediatric patients.
The main focus of our research is the mechanisms of homeostasis and regulation of the immune system, with a special interest in regulatory T cells or Tregs.
Given their suppressive role, Tregs are crucial in the maintenance of immune homeostasis and, therefore, participate in the control of various alterations or pathologies related to the immune system (allergies, autoimmune diseases, transplant rejection, immune hyperactivation in COVID- 19, etc).
In addition, the group is developing new advanced lines of research such as the genetic modification of immune cells for the development of advanced cellular immunotherapies, or the study of the immunomodulatory potential of exosomes and other extracellular vesicles.
In its 7 years of activity, the group has developed various projects in close collaboration with pediatricians from the Hospital Gregorio Marañón, La Paz, Hospital Niño Jesús and Sant Joan de Deu (Barcelona) to identify the immunological mechanisms involved in pediatric diseases such as food allergy, autoinflammatory syndromes, proctocolitis, and ichthyosis.
Among other results, it is worth highlighting the identification of a therapeutic target and the successful treatment of a rare form of ichthyosis in a pediatric patient that we have published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The research lines of the group have a clear clinical or translational orientation, and our studies aim at the practical application of our results, from their use as diagnostic or prognostic markers in different pathologies, to the therapeutic use of Treg cells to prevent disease. rejection in transplanted children, which is our main line of research.
As a result of this line of research, we have started a pioneering clinical trial in the world that uses for the first time a cell therapy with autologous Tregs in children with heart transplants to prevent rejection.
In addition, our group collaborates in different research projects in adult patients of the Cardiology, Psychiatry, Digestive and Hematology Services of the HGUGM and with the Pneumology Service of the Hospital de Getafe, as those responsible for the immunological analysis in patient samples.