Professor, Dept. of Medicine
Dr. Mark Larché PhD is a Professor of Medicine at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario and a Canada Research Chair in Allergy & Immune Tolerance. For the past 20 years his research has focused on manipulating human T cell responses in vivo using synthetic peptides representing T cell epitopes of allergen molecules. Dr. Larché has used peptides to activate allergen-specific T cells in individuals with allergic asthma and has shown that small doses can result in profound airway narrowing after just 3 hours. These were the first studies to document peptide-induced late asthmatic reactions, which can be thought of as “T cell-induced asthma”. These studies identify direct contributions of allergen-specific T cells to symptoms of asthma and may identify novel molecular targets for intervention. The second theme of the laboratory has been the development of peptide immunotherapy for the treatment of allergic disease. Dr. Larché has demonstrated that a short course of peptides has disease-modifying activity that persists for at least two years. Positive phase IIb clinical trial results have been achieved with peptide therapies for cat allergy, house dust mite allergy, ragweed allergy and grass pollen allergy. Studies funded through industry, CIHR and NIH are currently being undertaken to understand mechanisms of action. In addition to human studies, Dr. Larché has established murine models of allergic airways disease and peanut-induced anaphylaxis. Dr. Larché was a co-Founder of Circassia Ltd. (http://www.circassia.com/) and of Adiga Life Sciences Inc. (www.adiga.ca/).