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About the Lab

The lung is exposed to a myriad of inhaled particulate matter, allergens, and pathogens. The immune system plays an essential role in protection from respiratory pathogens, however inappropriate immune reactions to harmless inhaled antigens can lead to pulmonary diseases. CD4+ T helper cells play a critical role in antigen-specific immune responses and can persist as long-lived, memory T cells that maintain antigen-specific immunity.

The Rahimi laboratory is affiliated with the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and the Center for Immunology and Inflammatory Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital. The central focus of the Rahimi laboratory is to define the mechanisms regulating CD4+ T cell responses to inhaled antigens in the context of health and disease. We are particularly interested in understanding how CD4+ T cells respond inappropriately to harmless allergens and develop into allergen-specific, memory CD4+ T cells driving chronic allergic airway disease. We utilize both murine models and human subjects to define CD4+ T cell fate decisions in response to allergens. Our goal is to define novel therapeutic targets to prevent or treat inflammatory airway diseases such as asthma.

Current Projects

• Defining the mechanisms whereby allergen-specific, memory CD4+ T cells establish long-term residency within the lungs to drive allergic airway disease
• Defining peribronchial immune niches supporting allergen-specific, memory CD4+ T cells
• Defining the mechanisms regulating naïve CD4+ T cell fate decisions to aeroallergen

Awards and Recognition

Dr. Rahimi received a Mentored Career Development Award (K08) via the NHLBI in 2017. He received the MICU Teaching Award from the MGH Internal Medicine Residency Program in 2020. In 2021, Dr. Rahimi was awarded the Rising Star Achievement Award from the Allergy, Immunology, and Inflammation (AII) Assembly of the American Thoracic Society (ATS). He is the co-Chair of the Early Career Professionals Working group for the AII Assembly of the ATS.

Research Technicians

  • Keshav Nepal, BS
  • Creel Ng Cashin, BS


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