Research Interests

Krieger's group has studied receptor biology at the molecular, cellular and whole organism levels. Analysis of low density lipoprotein (LDL, 'bad' cholesterol) receptors in cells identified genes that influence the Golgi apparatus. For example, he co-discovered the Conserved Oligomeric Golgi Complex, in which mutations can cause human 'congenital disorders of glycosylation'. His interest in cholesterol metabolism and innate immunity led to the molecular identification and characterization of several 'scavenger receptors'. He proposed and helped establish that one of these serves in immune defense as a broad specificity pattern recognition receptor for pathogens (such as bacteria or asbestos). It was one of the first such receptors identified. His group also discovered and characterized the first high density lipoprotein (HDL, 'good' cholesterol) receptor. It's distinctive mechanism of cholesterol transport differs from that of the classic 'LDL receptor pathway'. Krieger's group showed that HDL receptors control the regulated delivery of HDL cholesterol to tissues, influence gastrointestinal, endocrine, reproductive and cardiovascular physiology, and protect against female infertility, certain blood disorders and atherosclerosis. This work generated new animal models for studying atherosclerotic coronary heart disease and suggests that the HDL receptor is a potential target for pharmacologic prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease.

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Section 42: Medical Physiology and Metabolism