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Translational Pulmonary
& Immunology Research Center
Innovation & Advancement

TPIRC leverages the power of big data analytics, traditionally used in commercial settings, to drive medical research and treatment advancements. This innovative approach translates vast amounts of data into actionable insights, shaping personalized treatment plans and improving patient outcomes.

The Research Team

Diana Fregoso, Cindy Lopez, Jitendra Tripathi, PhD, Nathan Marsteller, PhD, Ahn Duong, PhD

Advancing Treatment Discovery

At the Translational Pulmonary and Immunology Research Center (TPIRC), research is at the heart of the discoveries that allow us to develop individualized treatment for each one of our patients.

Our facilities are equipped with cutting-edge technology set up for a proteomics and cell and molecular biology core in pursuit of protein characterization and biomarker discovery. Each patient contributes millions of additional data points that continue to reveal and reinforce patterns that lead to advancements in care and breakthrough discoveries. Over time, our already successful, integrated approach can be even further refined with the TPIRC Biobank for more and more precise food allergy treatment.

TPIRC Research

TPIRC is equipped with a state-of-the-art research facility where discovery is driven by the study of more than 1 trillion data points.

With each case that we treat, we continue to grow our data sets at an exponential rate. This form of data collection and analysis opens the door for truly patient-driven research derived from real-world, clinical data and outcomes rather than laboratory hypotheses. This collection of shared information offers the greatest hope to truly advance treatment protocols for some of the most complex conditions.

This application of this model in both our clinic and our research center is what will enable us to fulfill our two-fold mission – to advance treatment discovery at a pace which helps our patients today, while building scalable models of success to accelerate the rate of research discovery for all diseases.

TPIRC Research team Mission & Vision

Our mission is to advance treatment discovery at a pace which helps our patients today

Committed to providing bench-to-bedside research support to an accomplished team of
healthcare providers at TPIRC/FAI and improving the customized care we give our
patients

Expanding the perspectives of orphan pulmonary disease through basic, translational, and
clinical research

Demonstrate leadership in food allergy and orphan pulmonary disease healthcare
providing groundbreaking discoveries utilizing a multidisciplinary technology and research
approach.

Director of Research

Nathan Marsteller, PhD

Nathan Marsteller, PhD is a scientist with over fifteen years of experience in the biological sciences, specializing in immunology, pulmonology, and molecular biology. He holds a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

As the Director of Research at the Translational Pulmonary and Immunology Research Center (TPIRC (pronounced Tea-perk)) in Long Beach CA since 2017, Dr. Marsteller has builtd a research laboratory with a focus on translational science that improves the lives of patients at the Food Allergy Institute and Millers Children’s Hospital by leveraging massive amounts of data to optimize various research projects, innovative diagnostic approaches, patient-focused methodologies, and the study of interactions between the immune system and genetic regulation in rare diseases, particularly in the realm of allergy and lung development.

In addition to his role at TPIRC, Dr. Marsteller serves as Research Faculty at the Pediatric Pulmonology Division of Miller Children’s Hospital, University of California Irvine. In this capacity, he plays a crucial role as the Primary Research Mentor for fellows in the Pulmonology Fellowship program. His commitment to guiding the next generation of researchers and physicians is evident in his leadership and dedication to fostering their growth.

His commitment to advancing scientific discovery in the food allergy space is reflected in his role as the Principal Investigator for the TPIRC Biospecimen and Data Resource (The TPIRC Biobank) since 2020. This initiative stores and manages biological samples and associated patient data, contributing significantly to the advancement of medical science and the discovery of new treatments and diagnostics for patients suffering from food anaphylaxis.

His innovative approach helps drive discovery and optimize patient therapeutics through basic science, translational science, and mentorship.

Biobank

The TPIRC Biobank aims to create a research resource that will include human biological samples and health information collected over time from Biobank participants. This collection will contribute to advancements in food allergy research and other areas aligned with TPIRC may help future generations of children achieve food freedom. The data collected from the Biobank will be used to support a variety of studies. This includes but is not limited to, defining the immunological/cellular mechanisms at play in food allergies and in tolerance. We are particularly focused on visualizing immune mechanisms that are leading our Tolerance Induction Program (TIP) patients toward remission. Studies like this help support the development of more effective treatments for food allergies. We are excited to pursue research initiatives that aim to eliminate the need for the EpiPen.

Several security measures are put in place for our HIPAA-compliant biobank including passwords, varying levels of access, and use of firewalls and encryption. As part of our security measures, identifiers will be removed from samples and research files and replaced with a code to ensure privacy.

We hope you will join the biobank so that we can better understand this disease and help future generations of kids achieve food freedom! For more information contact biobank@tpirc.org

With the Biobank, we can use the serum samples from our participants to identify and characterize appropriate allergens through several techniques including immunologic, biochemical, and structural characterization.

 

We can identify the IgE reactivity profile of allergens by immunoblotting and determine the clinical relevance of specific allergens with ELISA. We may also be able to identify cross reactivities with ELISA inhibition.

Research Areas

Precision medicine advances science and medical treatment in a complex yet effective approach of the “n=1”. The n of any study is the number of subjects. With more than 8,000 patients treated for severe food allergic disease, the N of our Institute exceeds that of many worldwide. TPIRC focuses on the development of cutting edge, individualized treatment protocols for orphan diseases utilizing comprehensive diagnostic tools, and patient-driven research.

Translational research is a “bench to bedside” approach. The goal of which is to improve patient outcomes. Each patient has hundreds of biomarkers analyzed prior to treatment. These data give us insight into the unique immune profile of each patient. We utilize this data to characterize, analyze, and improve patient treatment modalities. During this analysis we have the potential to discover novel biomarkers that can help us better understand the complexities of hard to treat patients with rare and orphan diseases. This approach aids in creating the best diagnostics possible. Additionally, the long-term follow-up of patients involving the standardization of biomarkers will be critical to the lifelong treatment outcomes of food allergy patients.

Emerging Research

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Immunological Mechanisms of Food Allergy

TPIRC is home to scientific research focused on food allergic diseases. Research to characterize disease states at the DNA, RNA, protein, and immune cell levels is critical to the development of newer treatments for food allergy as well as various pulmonary diseases. Identification of novel biomarkers that can predict and reflect short-term molecular changes and long-term impact changes toward immune system tolerance is key. Such markers are currently not available but with the participation of the Tolerance Induction Program (TIP) patients in the TPIRC Biobank, the discovery of such markers is possible and patients undergoing TIP can receive the best molecular and clinical outcomes possible.

Publication Highlights

Cystic fibrosis patients at risk for disease progression marked by decline in FEV1% predicted: development of the cystic fibrosis risk of di…
Marsteller, N.L., Nussbaum, E., Morphew, T. & Randhawa, I.S. J Thorac Dis 11, 5557-5565 (2019).

Allergy Evaluation During Hospitalized Asthma Improves Disease Management Outcomes.
Brock, J.P., Nussbaum, E., Morphew, T.L., Marsteller, N.L. et al. SN Comprehensive Clinical Medicine. 1, 328-333 (2019).

Correlation of negative skin-prick test results for tree nuts and successful tree nut challenges among children with peanut allergy….
Randhawa, I., Morphew, T. & Marsteller, N.L. Allergy and asthma proceedings : The Official Journal of Regional and State Allergy Societies. 39, 456-460 (2018).