Professor Cairns is a faculty member in the Department of Medicine (Rheumatology) and also in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. Her other affiliations include: Program of Experimental Medicine, Lawson Health Research Institute and Centre for Human Immunology. She is the winner of the Schulich Educator Award and The Calder Foundation Research Award. She has served on grant review panels of the Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR) and is currently a member of the CIHR College of Reviewers. Professor Cairns’ research focuses on the pathogenesis of the autoimmune disease called Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). She studies the role of MHC class II molecules as well as autoantigens (citrullinated and homocitrullinated proteins) in the development of this disease using human clinical specimens and an animal model for RA (humanized MHC class II tg mice). She is currently involved in designing vaccines to specifically block the development of RA and is testing their efficacy in MHC class II tg mice.
Some of her recent publications are below:
Kinloch AJ, Alzabin S, Brintnell W, Wilson E, Barra L, Wegner N, Bell DA, CAIRNS E, Venables PJ. Immunisation with Porphyromonas gingivalis enolase induces autoimmunity to mammalian a-enolase and arthritis in DR4-IE transgenic mice. Arthritis & Rheum. 63(12):3818-23, 2011.
Walker KM, Rytelewski M, Mazzuca DM, Meilleur SA, Mannik LA, Yue D, Brintnell WC, Welch I, CAIRNS E, Haeryfar SMM. Preventing and curing rheumatoid arthritis in a humanized mouse model using a Th2-polarizing iNKT cell agonist. Immunol. & Cell Biol. 90:630-9, 2012.
Barra L, Scinocca M. Saunders S, Bhayana R, Rohekar S, Racape M, Summers K, Coles R, CAIRNS E, Bell DA. Anti-Citrullinated Protein Antibodies (ACPA) in Unafeffected First Degree Relatives of Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients. Arthritis & Rheum. 65:1439-47, 2013.
Abbas A, Le K, Pimmett VL, Bell DA, CAIRNS E, DeKoter RP. Negative regulation of the Peptidylarginine Deiminase Type IV promoter by NF-kB in human myeloid cells. Gene, 533:123-131, 2014.
Scinocca M, Bell DA, Racape M, Joseph R, Shaw G, McCormick J, Gladman DD, Pope J, Barra L, CAIRNS E. Anti-homocitrullinated fibrinogen antibodies are specific to rheumatoid arthritis and bind citrullinated proteins/peptides. J Rheumatol. 41: 270-279, 2014.
Barra L, Summers K, Bell DA, CAIRNS E. Serum cytokine profile of unaffected First Degree Relatives of Rheumatoid Arthritis patients. J Rheumatol. 41:280-285, 2014.
Kasper KJ, Zeppa JJ, Xu SX, Mazzuca DM, Kotb M, CAIRNS E, Cleary PP, Haeryfar M, McCormick JK. Bacterial superantigens promote acute nasopharyngeal infection by Streptococcus pyogenes in a human MHC class II dependent manner. PLOS Pathogens 10:e1004155-1-10, 2014.
Bell DA, Elhayek S, CAIRNS E, Barra L. Anti-homocitrullinated protein antibody isotype usage in Rheumatoid Arthritis and their unaffected first degree relatives. Clin Exp Rheumatol., 35:948-953, 2017.
Lac P, Saunders S, Tutunea-Fatan E, Barra L, Bell DA, CAIRNS E. Immune responses to peptides containing homocitrulline or citrulline in the DR4-transgenic mouse model of rheumatoid arthritis. J Autoimmun.89:75-81, 2017.
Lac P, Racapé M, Barra L, Bell DA, CAIRNS E. Relatedness of antibodies to peptides containing homocitrulline or citrulline in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. J Rheumatol. 45:302-309, 2018.