Sonia Sharma, PhD

Study Title: Metabolic dysregulation of pro-inflammatory responses in DADA2 vasculitis
Investigator: Sonia Sharma, PhD
Co-investigators: Rekha Dhanwani, PhD; Mohit Jain, MD, PhD
Institution: La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, California
Award: $50,000 one-year

Vasculitis is an auto-immune condition characterized by inflammation and damage to the blood vessels, which precipitates multi-organ damage due to restricted blood flow to affected tissues. Many vasculitis diseases are rare genetic syndromes, and unraveling the biological basis of these debilllitating condition is absolutely critical for developing effective therapeutic treatments. Understanding vascular inflammation is also broadly useful for understanding chronic inflammatory conditions where vasculitis is often a key clinical complication. Our lab recently generated data showing that the metabolic enzyme Adenosine Deaminase 2 (ADA2), which is
mutated in DADA2 vasculitis, directly controls inflammatory immune responses. Our studies provide an important new link between vaascultiis and pro-inflammatory immune responses, and would also be the first to establish vascular inflammation as a metabolic disorder. By exploiting this new-found knowledge, we aim to explore new treatments for vascular inflammation aimed at dampening pro-inflammatory immune responses in DADA2 and other similar vasculitis syndromes by correcting the metabolic defect caused by low ADA2 activity.