We are interested in cell death and inflammatory responses as two critical components of the host immune defense against pathogens. We use forward genetic analysis in the wild-derived strains of mice to investigate regulatory mechanisms of cell death and inflammation. Our recent work has uncovered importance of constitutive (tonic) type I Interferon (IFN-I) in initiation of programed cell death such as pyroptosis and necroptosis. This constitutive IFN signature is induced by STING-mediated DNA-sensing pathway and maintains the expression of unknown effectors of necroptosis. We are currently focusing on identifying these effectors by means of forward genetic analysis.
First year student rotation projects are available in the following areas: role of endocytosis in the immune response; TRIFosome - a new hub of the early immune response; mouse model of cytokine storm and septic shock; and cell death and inflammatory response as two branches of the host immune response.