Molecular and Developmental Biology
Research in my laboratory is focused on analyzing the molecular signaling pathways that control blood cell differentiation. We are specifically interested in the development of the neutrophil, a phagocyte that plays a critical role in innate immunity. Neutrophil maturation occurs in the bone marrow, where pluripotent stem cells differentiate in response to cytokines released from sites of acute infection or inflammation. Importantly, disruption of neutrophil differentiation not only compromises immune responses but also underlies the pathogenesis of myelogenous leukemias. Using blood progenitor cell lines that can be induced to undergo maturation towards fully functional neutrophils, we are elucidating the molecular mechanisms that control neutrophil differentiation and functional activation using a combination of cell culture, molecular biology and biochemistry.