Colton Center for Autoimmunity Research | NYU Langone Health

Skip to Main Content
Judith & Stewart Colton Center for Autoimmunity Colton Center for Autoimmunity Research

Colton Center for Autoimmunity Research

At NYU Langone’s Judith and Stewart Colton Center for Autoimmunity, our researchers conduct pilot projects and collect data for biomedical research to better understand the immunological basis of autoimmune disorders.

We pioneer basic science and translational research that drives advances in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of autoimmune diseases, such as ankylosing spondylitis, antiphospholipid syndrome, arthritis, lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome, and type 1 diabetes.

Learn more about our work by reading the latest papers published by our investigators.

2023 Grant Awards

Investigators at NYU Langone’s Judith and Stewart Colton Center for Autoimmunity are exploring the immunological basis of autoimmunity.

Wearables and AI framework for inflammatory arthritis assessment and management

Principal investigators:  Souptik Barua, PhD and Rebecca Haberman, MD 

This project will develop a digital health framework to improve the treatment of inflammatory arthritis, including psoriatic and rheumatoid arthritis, which affects 2-3% of the global population. Despite advancements in biologic therapies and small molecules, over half of patients do not respond adequately to these drugs and there are currently no biomarkers to predict response to medication early in treatment. We propose using wearable actigraphs and artificial intelligence algorithms to monitor physical activity, sleep, and other factors, in order to identify early signs of response or non-response to medication, with the goal of preventing long-term damage and reducing health expenditures.

Development of UBA1 Targeted Therapies in VEXAS Syndrome

Principal investigator: David B. Beck, MD, PhD

The Beck lab project will focus on using genetic drivers identified in patients with severe inflammation as potential drug targets. We will establish and validate screening assays for identification of small molecule inhibitors of inflammation.

Predicting Response to TNFa Inhibition in Autoimmune Diseases

Principal investigator: Bettina Nadorp, PhD

Co-investigators: Jose U. Scher , MD and David P.Hudesman, MD     

Up to 50% of patients with autoimmune diseases receiving TNFa inhibitors (TNF-i) do not respond adequately, and reliable predictors of treatment response are not available. We aim to build a predictive tool based on disease-agnostic molecular biomarkers derived from single-cell profiling of PMBCs in patients with inflammatory bowel disease, psoriatic and rheumatoid arthritis initiating TNF-i, and validate the algorithm utilizing publicly available cohort datasets. 

Spatial dynamics of intestinal B cell immunoreceptor signaling in health and disease (IBD)

Principal investigator: Carla R. Nowosad, PhD

The gut hosts most of the body’s antibodies, producing grams of the mucosal antibody IgA, daily. Antibodies form in structures called germinal centers, which are chronic in the healthy intestine. During inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), both mucosal IgA antibodies and inflammatory IgG antibodies drive pathogenesis. We are using an ex vivo imaging platform to visualize GC B cell immunoreceptor signaling during steady-state and over the course of IBD progression in murine models to track how chronic inflammatory changes signaling, germinal center activity and antibody production in the intestine.

The role and mechanism of aberrant dendritic cell function in autoimmunity

Principal investigator: Boris Reizis, PhD

Dendritic cells (DCs) are the key sentinel cells of the immune system that directly recognize pathogens and initiate adaptive immune responses. DCs are also thought to promote immune tolerance, and their aberrant activity has been implicated in nearly every autoimmune disease. We will characterize the molecular program whereby aberrantly activated migratory DCs induce autoimmunity, focusing on a potentially targetable signaling pathway.

Utilizing RNA replicons as immune modulators for systemic lupus erythematosus

Principal investigator: Benjamin tenOever, PhD

The proposed grant aims to investigate a cutting-edge approach for treating systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) by utilizing a novel vector-based platform developed at NYUSoM. This innovative platform enables the delivery of RNA encoding immunomodulatory cytokines, interleukin-10 (IL-10) and transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β), to targeted sites without immune engagement. The grant will evaluate the safety and efficacy of this approach in a mouse model of SLE, with the goal of developing a novel treatment option for this debilitating autoimmune disease.

Past Grant Awards

In recent years, the Judith and Stewart Colton Center for Autoimmunity has been supporting autoimmunity research at NYU Langone through multiple projects focused on some of the most relevant challenges in the field.