42952-Cook-Mills, Joan

Joan M. Cook-Mills, PhD

Professor of Pediatrics

Indianapolis, IN


Dr. Cook-Mills' research interests focus on the mechanisms for development of allergic diesease, asthma and food allergy in neonates and children of allergic mothers. Using models and human blood samples, studies are determining mechanisms for early life development and recruitment of cells (dendritic cells, mast cells, eosinophils) that promote allergic disease. 

Studies are also underway to examine lipids of allergic mothers that are transported across placenta to the fetus to regulate development of specifc subsets of dendritic cells in the fetus. These maternal lipids are from the mother's diet and generated by the mother during allergic responses.

Studies in the lab have also recently determined how food allergy develops in neonates by a combination of skin exposures and genetics. Ongoing studies on food allergy will determine what signals in skin promote the development of food allergy as potential targets for therapy.


Titles & Appointments

  • Professor of Pediatrics
  • Professor of Microbiology & Immunology
  • Education
    1987 PhD Michigan State University
    1982 BS Michigan State University
  • Research

    Currently, there are four main research directions regarding the regulation of allergic inflammation that are under investigation in the animal models and in clinical studies: 
    1. Mechanisms for initiation of food allergy.
    2. Maternal lipid regulation of the development of allergy in neonates.
    3. Vitamin E regulation of allergi responses in adults nad neonates. 
    4. Amino acid (5HTP)/Neurotransmitter regulation of endotheliel cell function in recreuitment of inflammatory cells during allergic inflammation.  

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