Peggy Kendall, MD

Peggy Kendall, MD

Virginia Minnich Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Division Chief - Division of Allergy & Immunology, Professor of Pathology and Immunology

Research Interest

Islet Biology / Immunology

Prevention / Control

Category(ies) of Research



Descriptor of Research

The Kendall lab works on the role of autoreactive B lymphocytes in the pathogenesis of Type 1 diabetes (T1D). We have shown that autoreactive B lymphocytes present antigen and activate T cells and have characterized B lymphocytes that populate tertiary lymphoid structures in pancreatic islets in the nonobese mouse model of T1D. Over the past decade we have focused on the mechanisms by which autoreactive B cells bypass normal tolerance mechanism. Specifically, we have shown that Bruton’s tyrosine kinase can be targeted to eliminate autoreactive B cells and protect against diabetes development. Our latest discovery is that BTK-deficiency also results in defective mucosal B cell development and IgA, allowing inflammatory commensal microbes to expand. Our emerging data show that the inflammatory microbes and Btk-deficiency are synergistic, and both required, for disease protection. Future directions include mechanistic studies of these findings, as well as translational work in humans. We have planned studies in collaboration with Janet McGill to study T1D and other autoimmune diseases in her patients with varied levels of IgA and are working toward obtaining funding to support that work.