Research Expertise & Professional Interests
Dr. Little is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine. He attends on the Allergy Consultation Service as well as the Medical Intensive Care Unit and Pulmonary Consultation Service at Boston Medical Center . His outpatient activity is concentrated in the Adult Asthma and Allergy Clinics.
Dr. Little’s longstanding clinical interests and research efforts are focused on examining the nature of airway inflammation in allergic asthma, and translational approaches to diagnostics of allergic disease.
Prior to coming to Boston University, during a postdoctoral fellowship at the UCSF Cardiovascular Research Institute , he investigated the effect of causing an experimental cold in asthmatic and healthy volunteers, followed by concurrent examination of clinical asthma markers (e.g., spirometry, symptoms) and airway secretions by nasal lavage and sputum induction.
In the laboratory, he used key cytokine transgenic and knockout mice to investigate antigen-dependent and -independent allergic airway inflammation. Specifically, he investigated interleukin-16, a major CD4 ligand, as a paradigm for downregulation of antigen-dependent TH2 inflammation.
His translational research continues at Boston University as a principle investigator in a clinic-based study to develop a rapid saliva diagnostics platform for determining the causes of deterioration in asthma control. This study has expanded to both Emergency Room populations at B.U. and cohorts of pediatric asthmatics in collaboration Dr. Elizabeth Matsui, Pediatric Allergy/Immunology at Johns Hopkins. This translational approach has also been used in developing a point of care device to accurately and rapidly quantify allergen-specific IgE using component-resolved diagnostics. This latter ongoing effort is in collaboration with Drs. M. Selim Unlü in the Boston University College of Engineering.
He has also participated as a Co-Investigator in immunotherapy trials with the NHLBI-funded Inner City Asthma Consortium, in collaboration with the BUMC site PI, Dr. George O’Connor.
Dr. Little’s educational and administrative responsibilities include directing the Boston University Allergy/Immunology Fellowship Training Program and being the Medical Director of the Pulmonary, Allergy and Sleep Clinics. He is also the Clinical Director of Allergy at Boston Medical Center, a role that touches on care delivery in the inpatient and outpatient settings.
Research interests include:
-Salivary Diagnostics of Lung Disease
-Point of Care Diagnostics of Allergic Disease
Clinical interests include:
-Critical Care Medicine