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.