Susan McKarns, MS, PhD
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University of Missouri – Columbia (MU)
Non-genetic host factors, such as gender, age, microbiota, metabolism, diet, and pharmaceuticals, have a clear effect on immune responses and a differential susceptibility of females and males to immune-mediated disorders including infections, autoimmune disease, metabolic disorders, chronic inflammation, and cancer. We currently use mouse models and clinical biopsies to define immune-mediated mechanisms of environment-host interactions. As a next step toward personalized precision medicine, more research is needed to fully comprehend the fundamental processes by which environmental factors contribute to sexual-dimorphism in human health and disease. It is our hope to lessen this significant gap of knowledge to increase the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of human immune-mediated disorders.