About Us

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Marsha Wills-Karp
Marsha Wills-Karp, PhD.
Professor, Environmental Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA

Dr. Marsha Wills-Karp is the chair of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Wills-Karp was most recently a professor and the founding director of the Division of Immunobiology in the Department of Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, where she also directed the Immunobiology Graduate Program. She previously was on the faculty at Johns Hopkins from 1990 to 2000. Dr. Wills-Karp is a graduate of Southwest Texas State University. She earned her doctorate from the University of California, Santa Barbara and completed postdoctoral training at Yale University.

Research/Clinical Interests
Dr. Wills-Karp is a leader in the study of the molecular mechanisms of asthma. Her research activities focus on defining the environmental and genetic determinants of allergic airway diseases such as asthma. Dr. Wills-Karp and her team have specifically explored the role of CD4+ Th2 cells and cytokines (IL-13), and innate immune pathways (complement activation pathways, TLRs, CLRs), in the pathogenesis of asthma. Dr. Wills-Karp has made substantial contributions to the understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying allergenicity of common allergens-specifically how allergens and airborne pollutants activate innate immune pathways through molecular mimicry. More recently, Dr. Wills-Karp turned her attention to how the gut microbiome alters susceptibility to allergen and PM-induced asthma.