Dr. Jamil Azzi is a transplant immunologist whose research focuses on developing novel therapeutic strategies in transplantation and in Type 1 Diabetes using nanotechnology. 
The past decade has witnessed major advancements in the development of new immunosuppressive drugs. However, the number of patients experiencing the toxicity associated with the use of these drugs has also increased dramatically.Drug delivery techniques using nanotechnology provides therapeutic modalities with improved efficacy and reduced side effects.Another area of interest is Regulatory T cells (Tregs) that play a pivotal role in the maintenance of immune tolerance and hold great promise as cell therapy for a variety of immune-mediated diseases. Those Tregs protect us from autoimmune disease by prohibiting our immune system from attacking our own cells such as the pancreas in case of Type 1 Diabetes. They also prohibit the immune system from attacking the transplanted organ. Understanding the intracellular signaling pathways that control the balance between aggressive and regulatory T cells is key in devising strategies to reeducate our immune system to stop attacking the transplanted organs. We focus on studying the role of different molecules in controlling this balance such as the different isoforms of the PI3K pathway in addition to the Serine Protease inhibitors.Our laboratory has also a significant interest in translational research. We are currently developing blood and urinary biomarkers using genomic and proteomic techniques as clinical immune monitoring tool and as predictors of outcome in human transplant patients. 

Publications

Azzi J, Tang L, Moore R, Tong R, El Haddad N, Akiyoshi T, Mfarrej B, Yang S, Jurewicz M, Ichimura T, Lindeman N, Cheng J, Abdi R. “Polylactide-cyclosporin A nanoparticles for targeted immunosuppression”. FASEB J. 2010 Oct;24(10):3927-38. doi: 10.1096/fj.10-154690.

Azzi J, Moore RF, Elyaman W, Mounayar M, El Haddad N, Yang S, Jurewicz M, Takakura A, Petrelli A, Fiorina P, Ruckle T, Abdi R. “The novel therapeutic effect of phosphoinositide 3-kinase-γ inhibitor AS605240 in autoimmune diabetes”. Diabetes. 2012 Jun;61(6):1509-18. doi: 10.2337/db11-0134.

Azzi J, Skartsis N, Mounayar M, Magee CN, Batal I, Ting C, Moore R, Riella LV, Ohori S, Abdoli R, Smith B, Fiorina P, Heathcote D, Bakhos T, Ashton-Rickardt PG, Abdi R. “ Serine protease inhibitor 6 plays a critical role in protecting murine granzyme B-producing regulatory T cells”. J Immunol. 2013 Sep 1;191(5):2319-27. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1300851.

Lewandrowski GK, Magee CN, Mounayar M, Tannous BA, Azzi J. Simultaneous in vivo monitoring of regulatory and effector T lymphocytes using secreted gaussia luciferase, firefly luciferase, and secreted alkaline phosphatase. Methods Mol Biol. 2014;1098:211-27. doi: 10.1007/978-1-62703-718-1_17.

image003Appointments

Associate Physician, Renal Division, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

 

Training

2007 – 2008 Clinical Fellowship Nephrology, combined program MGH-BWH/ Harvard Medical

2008 – 2011 Post-doctoral Fellowship, Immunology and Transplantation, Transplant Research Center, BWH, Harvard Medical School

2010 – 2011 Clinical Fellowship in Transplant Nephrology

 

 

Awards & Honors

First Prize in the 18th Annual Residents’ and Fellows’ Research Paper Competition of the Academy of Medicine of Richmond, NY

Annual Scientific Exchange, Young Innovator Award, American Society of Transplantation

President’s Oral Session, American Diabetes Association

American Society of Transplantation-Novartis Junior Faculty Basic Science Award

American Heart Association Fellow to Faculty Transition Award

 

 

Contact

E-Mail: jazzi@rics.bwh.harvard.edu