Inflammation is essential for host defense during infection, and may also be critical in the regulation of homeostatic functions in many tissues. However, chronic inflammation is associated with a variety of diseased conditions such as obesity, diabetes, cancer and autoinflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
The Nlrp3 inflammasome regulates a critical inflammatory pathway that has been linked to both adaptive and maladaptive inflammation, in settings such as host defense and metabolic diseases. One focus of the lab is in studying the regulation of the Nlrp3 inflammasome. Inflammation is in many ways a fundamental mechanism of adaptative stress, and we are also interested in how the Nlrp3 inflammasome regulates inflammatory processes and its intersection with other pathways of stress sensing and stress adaptation.
A related focus of the lab is in macrophage biology. Macrophages constitute the most important cell type in the initiation and elaboration of inflammatory processes. Consistent with the complexity of inflammation, these cells are capable of many different functional programs, including antimicrobial defense, tissue repair, phagocytosis, and regulation of metabolism. We are interested in the regulation of these functional programs, which will be key to understanding and manipulating macrophage biology and inflammation.