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Marsha Wills-Karp, PhD

  • Chair, Department of Environmental Health Sciences
  • Professor

Departmental Affiliations

Contact Information

615 N. Wolfe Street
Room E7527
Baltimore, Maryland 21205

410 955-0617


PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1986
MS, Southwest Texas State University, 1982


My research activities focus on defining the environmental and genetic determinants of allergic airway diseases such as asthma. My lab members and I 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. I have made substantial contributions to our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying allergenicity of common allergens-specifically how allergens and airborne pollutants activate innate immune pathways through molecular mimicry (Nature).  More recently, I have turned my attention to how the gut microbiome alters susceptibility to allergen and PM-induced asthma.

Honors and Awards

Delta Omega Public Health Honor Society, 2014

Rebecca Buckley Lectureship (2012)

Chair of NIH AITRC Study Section (2011 - present) Permanent Member NIH AITRC Study Section (2009 - present) Fellow of Pediatric Society (2009 - present) Associate Editor, Mucosal Immunity, (2007 - present) John Salvaggio Memorial Lectureship (2001) Permanent Member, National Institutes of Health Study Section-Lung Biology and Pathology (2000 - 2004) Sigma Xi - The Scientific Research Society (1980 - present) Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society (1979 - 1982) Faculty of 1000

  • Allergy, Asthma, Immunology, Pulmonary Biology, Environmental Health, Air Pollution, Genetics of Asthma, Microbiome  

Asthma is one of the most common chronic disorders in childhood.