Mariana C. Castells, MD, PhD
AIM Committee Member/ Brigham and Women’s Mastocytosis Center/ Harvard Medical School
Mariana Castells, MD, PhD is a clinician-scientist with over 30 years of experience in allergy and immunology. She is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and has authored over 200 publications.
Dr. Castells is the Director of the Brigham and Women’s Mastocytosis Center, one of the few nationally and internationally recognized centers of excellence which provides diagnosis, management, and treatment options for patients with mastocytosis and mast cell activation disorders which are rare and potentially deadly disorders currently addressed with tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Her research laboratory concentrates on mast cells’ inhibitory receptors, and she cloned the first ITIM containing receptor mouse gp49B1/ human LILRB4, which ligand is the integrin avb3 expressed in connective tissues and blood vessels. Taking advantage of mast cells’ inhibitory function, she has developed an in-vitro antigen/ IgE/ mast cell-driven desensitization system which blocks the release of mast cell mediators. This system has been used to design human desensitization protocols which protect patients against anaphylaxis when re-exposed to their first line allergic medications.
Dr. Castells is also the Director of the Drug Hypersensitivity and Desensitization Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute which has provided over 900 high-risk cancer patients with the opportunity to receive the first-line treatments that are essential to their medical care in spite of drug allergy or hypersensitivity.