Amita Aggarwal is a Professor and Head of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology at the Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute, Lucknow, India. She trained at Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, Center’s for disease control, Atlanta, USA and Oklahoma university hospital, Oklahoma, USA in Immunology & Rheumatology besides getting her basic training in India.
She is a clinician scientist, with major interest in Juvenile arthritis and SLE. In addition, she has taught a generation of physicians working in the field of rheumatology in India. In recognition of her work, she has been elected fellow of the Indian academy of Science, National academy of Science as well as National academy of Medical Sciences. She has also served as the President of Indian Rheumatology Association as well as editor of Indian Journal of Rheumatology.
Immune targets for therapy in autoimmune diseases
Traditionally autoimmune diseases were treated with drugs that would dampen the immune response overall like corticosteroids, cytotoxic drugs but with better understanding of molecular mechanisms of autoimmunity different forms of targeted therapies are being tried. These include antibodies or biologicals that inhibit soluble mediators like cytokines, chemokines, complement products, or cause deletion of T/B cells. Small molecule inhibitors of Jak-stat pathway have been a game changer in some autoimmune diseases. Cellular therapy using regulatory T cells, Mesenchymal stem cells to tame the aggressive immune response is also gaining ground in recent past. Finally CAR-T cell technology to delete autoreactive T and B cell is also in the pipeline.