TMS Partners with AAAAI to Offer 2021 Research Grant!

Feb 23, 2021

The Mast Cell Disease Society, Inc. (TMS) is excited to continue our partnership with the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) in offering the 2021 AAAAI/TMS Research Award in Mast Cell Disorders including Mastocytosis and/or Mast Cell Activation Syndrome. The RFP was released in 2020 and due in November 2020. This year’s award was presented at the AAAAI 2021 Virtual Awards Celebration on February 26, 2021 to Dr. Daniel Dwyer with Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) to conduct studies on “Single-cell characterization of cutaneous mast cells in mastocytosis and hereditary alpha-tryptasemia.”

Dr. Dwyer will focus on applying his groundbreaking work using single-cell RNA sequencing to understand mast cell heterogeneity and biology to mast cells residing in the skin of patients with mastocytosis and hereditary alpha-tryptasemia. Studies will also include an evaluation of the activation status of skin mast cells from such patients.

“I hope to gain new insight into the pathobiology of both mastocytosis and hereditary alpha-tryptasemia,” says Dr. Daniel Dwyer.

This basic science research will be conducted in close collaboration with clinicians at the BWH Mastocytosis Center, allowing elucidation of the link between transcriptional alterations in mast cells from patients to the clinical manifestations of each disease, potentially leading to the development of new therapeutic approaches for the management of mast cell diseases. Data obtained from this study is intended to be used in combination with an ongoing study conducting single cell RNA-sequencing on mast cells from mastocytosis patient bone marrow as the foundation for an R-01 grant application to the National Institutes of Health, focused on developing a deeper, mechanistic understanding of human mast cell diseases.

The environment at BWH and Harvard Medical School is among the best in the world for studying human mast cell diseases. The BWH Mastocytosis Center, headed by Dr. Mariana Castells, is a nationally recognized Center of Excellence that brings together allergists, immunologists, pathologists, and other specialists needed to treat the many aspects of mast cell diseases. They have developed a database that contains information that will facilitate segmentation of phenotypes of mast cell diseases, and a robust referral base that provides necessary clinical samples.

We congratulate Dr. Dwyer on receiving this award!