Inflammation & Neutrophil Biology, Atherosclerosis, Vascular and Leukocyte Adhesion Molecules, MechanoBiology & Signal Transduction. Technology development in fluorescence microscopy, flow cytometry, microfluidic devices to image leukocyte function on vascular mimetic models of vascular diseases.
We study the process of inflammation and its relation to acute infection and chronic diseases. The onset of vascular inflammation is the interaction between circulating leukocytes and endothelial cells. In order to fight infection, leukocytes must attach to the wall of a blood vessel and migrate through the endothethial lining. This process is tightly regulated by adhesion molecules and molecular signals produced at the vascular endothelium. When leukocyte recruitment becomes chronically disregulated, a number of human diseases result including atherosclerosis, sepsis, and autoimmune diseases. We are currently exploring the mechanisms by which endothelial cells selectively produce adhesion molecules in response to specific inflammatory stimuli such as Staph-Aureus infection, and how leukocytes integrate these endothelial signals in order to arrest and migrate across the blood vessel wall. Development of novel means of imaging the process of inflammation on cells and in animal models is also a focus of the lab.