Dr. Strober Interview | February 17th, 2016


Dr. Warren Strober is Chief of the Mucosal Immunity Section in the Laboratory of Host Defenses at NIH. His main areas of interest in Mucosal Immunology center around the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel diseases and GI disease associated with immunodeficiency. His research in inflammatory bowel disease has led to the recognition that Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are driven by very distinct pathogenic mechanisms with the former involving Th1/Th17 responses and the latter Th2 (IL-13) responses. This led to the first evidence that anti-IL-12p40 is a possible therapeutic agent in Crohn’s disease and clinical studies now establishing the efficacy of this agent. In addition, he has performed pioneering research in murine models of intestinal inflammation that produced initial evidence that TNBS-colitis is regulated by suppressor T cells and that oxazolone colitis, a disease model driven by NKT cells and IL-13 responses is a model of ulcerative colitis. Finally, he has been a leader in the exploration of the role of NOD2 abnormalities in Crohn’s disease and his work in this area established that such abnormalities cause regulatory dysfunction and excessive innate responses that lead to disease. He thus provided important molecular evidence for the hypothesis that Crohn’s disease results for dysregulated responses to commensal microflora. The above work relating to inflammatory bowel disease is accompanied by fundamental studies of regulatory T cell function, cytokine transcription and signaling pathways utilized by pro-inflammatory genes.

Dr. Strober’s research accomplishments have been recognized by numerous awards including the PHS Distinguished Service Medal, the Lifetime Achievement Award of SMI and the William Beaumont Award of the American Gastrointestinal Association. In addition, he was recognized as Doctor of Medicine, Honoris Causa by the Charite Hospital, Humboldt University. Finally, Dr. Strober served as President of the Society for Mucosal Immunity and has had the privilege of training many prominent mucosal immunologists, many of whom contributed importantly to his accomplishments outlined above.