Chronic Inflammatory Diseases

Our Faculty and research trainees are addressing how the immune system can become a destructive force leading to autoimmunity or other chronic inflammatory diseases. Researchers are addressing diseases affecting various body systems such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or Neurodegenerative disease.

   Dr. Renée Douville's lab studies neurological conditions associated with endogenous retrovirus activity, specifically Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and schizophrenia. The goal of the lab is to understand how these viruses impact human health and identify therapeutics that prevent virus-triggered cell damage.
Adjunct Professor - Cross Appointee,
Associate Professor in Microbiology
Department of Biology
University of Winnipeg

Office Phone: (204) 786-9448
Web Page

   Dr El-Gabalawy's current research interests centre round the pathogenesis of RA and the mechanisms involved in the initiation of synovial inflammation. Dr El-Gabalawy has established a unique cohort of high risk First Nations family members of RA patients who are being followed longitudinally for the earliest evidence of RA onset. This work is an integral part of an international initiative to develop an understanding of the pre-clinical stages of autoimmune diseases and has been funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research since 2005.
Professor - Cross Appointee

Office Phone: (204) 787 2208
Web Page

  Our group is working on neuro-immune and—endocrine mechanisms that contribute to the development of inflammatory bowel diseases. Our research program aims to elucidate the role of chromogranin-derived peptides, the autonomic nervous system, and central disorders during the development of gastrointestinal inflammation and to elucidate the precise mechanisms involved. This may lead to the identification of new specific agents that will open new therapeutic avenues for treating ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
GHIA, Jean-Eric (MSc, PhD, IUD, AGAF)
Associate Professor
Co Appointee, Internal Medicine section of Gastroenterology
Director, Gastrointestinal Basic Biology Research, IBD Clinical Research Centre

Office Phone: (204) 789-3802
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Professor, Department of Immunology
Head, Department of Immunology
Director, Flow Cytometry Core Platform

Office Phone: (204) 272-3082
Web Page

 Our group is working to decode the intracellular signals that control the activities of immune cells during both healthy immune responses and in various disease states. Specifically, we focus on phosphoinositide (PI) kinases and phosphatases: enzymes that modify certain lipids in the plasma membrane to generate docking sites for intracellular signaling proteins.  We discovered that alterations of certain PI signaling molecules in B lymphocytes led to abnormal immune responses, altered cellular metabolism and production of pathologic autoantibodies leading to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Current work is examining how intracellular signals can “re-wire” cellular metabolism in normal and pathologic immune responses. We are also undertaking collaborative work to investigate B lymphocyte abnormalities in human cohort studies of rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and multiple sclerosis patients.

  The vision of my research program is to advance fundamental knowledge of how inflammation is enhanced or controlled in chronic disease, with focus on asthma and arthritis. We study immunity-related functions of molecules known as host defence (antimicrobial) peptides. We also examine aspects of how air pollution impacts the lungs. We are currently integrating impact of biological sex in the process of inflammation and response to therapy in asthma. My drug discovery projects aim to develop small peptide-based therapies for difficult to treat steroid-unresponsive asthma. My lab is an inclusive environment, committed to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. I ensure that everyone is given opportunities to excel in scholarly activities. For more information see
MOOKHERJEE, Neeloffer (PhD) 
Associate Professor, Internal Medicine & Immunology
CIHR Sex and Gender Science Chair; Circulatory & Respiratory Health.
Chair WISDOM (Women In Science: Development, Outreach & Mentoring), RFHS

Office Phone: (204) 272-3115
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Assistant Professor,
Internal Medicine and Immunology  

Office Phone: (204) 787-8032
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Our labs focuses on the pathogenic events that occur prior to the onset of Rheumatoid Arthritis, a systemic autoimmune disease. We use proteomics and systems immunology to understand loss of immune tolerance, identify biomarkers of pre-clinical autoimmunity and modulation of these dysregulated mechanisms.

i)   Analysis of the citrulinome in Rheumatoid Arthritis
ii)  Neutrophil activation in pre-clinical Rheumatoid Arthritis autoimmunity
iii) Clinical trial investigating Curcumin in pre-clinical RA autoimmunity and RA patients in clinical remission



SOUSSI GOUNNI, Abdelilah (PhD)

Office Phone: (204) 975-7750
Web Page

 Dr. Abdelilah S. Gounni, is currently a Professor of Immunology at the Max Rady College of Medicine, University of Manitoba and a scientist at the Children Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba.Dr. Gounni research interests include the mechanisms of airways diseases and pathways regulating structural and inflammatory cell recruitment, activation and survival Over the years, his work has focused on the role of high-affinity IgE receptor (FceRI), cytokines (interleukin-9, thymic stromal lymphopoeitin), soluble pattern recognition receptor (pentraxin-3) in regulating airway inflammation, airway hyperresponsiveness and remodelling.
Most recently, his lab studies the function, expression and regulation of a neuronal chemo-repellent protein, Sema3E, in asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.