Research Interests

My research interests have focused on cytokines, small proteins that affect cellular functions via specific surface receptors. The cellular targets for cytokines are in every organ and tissue; therefore, when dysregulated, cytokines have profound effects on physiologic, immune, metabolic, and neurologic function. My greatest focus has been on pro-inflammatory cytokines, particularly interleukin-1 (IL-1). Our laboratory studies the production and activity of IL-1 and related pro-inflammatory cytokines in models of human disease. For example, we often ask the question: What is the role of a particular cytokine in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis or multiple myeloma or metastatic cancer? We design experiments so that our laboratory findings contribute to the development of specific cytokine-based therapies in humans with debilitating and life-threatening diseases. We also study the intracellular pathways by which certain cytokines induce, sustain, and resolve inflammation. We do this in order to understand where cytokines uniquely affect signal transduction, which allows for the use of novel agents that target the cytokine but spare normal function.

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Primary Section

Section 43: Immunology and Inflammation