Dr. Brusko is currently appointed as an Associate Professor within the Diabetes Institute at the University of Florida, College of Medicine. The research interests of his academic lab are centrally themed around understanding the mechanisms by which the immune system maintains a state of control, often referred to as immunological tolerance. A portion of his lab is dedicated to understanding how genetic risk variants influence this process, as well as identifying pathway defects in individuals who develop autoimmune diseases. These studies have focused primarily on genes impacting key checkpoints in T cell activation, including TCR signaling, co-stimulation, and the IL-2 signaling pathway.
Dr. Brusko’s laboratory currently serves as the advanced cytometry and cell sorting core for the JDRF-sponsored National Pancreatic Organ donors with Diabetes (nPOD) program. He serves as an active member of a number of ongoing team science initiatives including the Brehm Coalition and Helmsley Trust-supported autoimmunity working group. His work within the nPOD program seeks to elucidate the immune repertoire at the site of autoimmune attack through immunosequencing and phenotypic assessments of islet-resident lymphocytes. In addition to his work in T1D, Dr. Brusko heads a Helmsley Trust supported effort to profile the developing human immune system during early life, referred to as the Human Atlas of Neonatal Development and Early Life –Immunity (HANDEL-I).
Dr. Brusko has published over 65 scientific papers reporting on the genetic and molecular basis of defects in immune regulation in autoimmune diseases. A central theme of Dr. Brusko’s research involves dissecting heterogeneity in human immune development and conducting immune phenotypic monitoring in a number clinical intervention trials in T1D. Dr. Brusko serves on review and steering committees for the NIH TrialNet and Human Islet Research Network (HIRN) trans-network committee, JDRF Biomarkers and Mechanisms Panel (BMP), and the scientific review panel of the Helmsley T1D Exchange.
In addition to his academic appointment, Dr. Brusko is a founding scientific member and chief operating officer for OneVax, LLC, a biotechnology start-up located in the Sid Martin Biotechnology Research Complex in Alachua, FL. OneVax develops vaccines and therapies to induce immune tolerance in autoimmune diseases.