Jose Ordovas-Montanes

Jose Ordovas-Montanes

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Jose Ordovas-Montanes

Inflammation and Memory as Drivers of Barrier Tissue Ecology

Our goal is to understand the principles of how inflammation drives memory formation in human barrier tissues, in order to program and re-program them in disease. We are developing a training environment where we apply emerging techniques to answer fundamental questions of biological and clinical relevance in barrier tissue biology.

Conceptually, for a barrier tissue to effectively learn from previous immunological experiences, it can sense, adapt, and store this information (i.e. memory) in readily accessible permanent resident cell types. We are interested in exploring how memories of previous immune events (i.e. inflammatory memory) enables barrier tissues (airway, intestine, and skin) to recall diverse environmental exposures, informing future responses. We are particularly interested in further understanding our discovery that epithelial stem cells, amongst other parenchymal, stromal, neuronal, and immune cell subsets, can form inflammatory memory, raising the possibility of distributed memory formation.

Technically, we utilize single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq), computational methods, organoid models, epigenetic profiling, flow cytometry, and microscopy applied to human health and disease. We then build testable models to explore with humans (organoids, treatment response vs. failure) or with mice (genetics, optogenetics, cellular immunology), towards the aim of improving disease understanding and treatment.

Our approach is to integrate immunological insights with innovative technologies, experimentation, and computational methods. Current projects in the lab focus on: 1) understanding human inflammatory diseases at single-cell resolution in barrier tissues (allergic inflammation, Crohn’s, colitis, psoriasis, eczema), 2) defining the mechanisms of inflammatory adaptation and memory by epithelial stem cells, and 3) building a framework for how inflammation changes the states of epithelial, stromal and immune cells to reshape their interactions. If you have any idea that fits within these broad interests, please reach out!

Contact Information

Boston Children's Hospital
Division of Gastroenterology
Enders 630
300 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
p: 617-919-7692