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Andrew Lane Lab
The Lane laboratory is focused on understanding molecular mechanisms underlying chronic rhinosinusitis and particularly the pathogenesis of nasal polyps. Diverse techniques in molecular biology, immunology, physiology, and engineering are utilized to study epithelial cell innate immunity, olfactory loss, the sinus microbiome, and drug delivery to the nose and sinus cavities. Ongoing work explores how epithelial cells participate in the immune response and contribute to chronic sinonasal inflammation. The lab creates and employs transgenic mouse models of chronic sinusitis to support research in this area. Collaborations are in place with the School of Public Health to explore mechanisms of anti-viral immunity in influenza and rhinovirus, and with the University of Maryland to characterize the bacterial microbiome of the nose and sinuses in health and disease.
Joel Pomerantz Laboratory
The Pomerantz Laboratory studies the molecular machinery used by cells to interpret extracellular signals and transduce them to the nucleus to affect changes in gene expression. The accurate response to extracellular signals results in a cell's decision to proliferate, differentiate or die, and it's critical for normal development and physiology. The dysregulation of this machinery underlies the unwarranted expansion or destruction of cell numbers that occurs in human diseases like cancer, autoimmunity, hyperinflammatory states and neurodegenerative disease.
Current studies in the lab focus on signaling pathways that are important in innate immunity, adaptive immunity and cancer, with particular focus on pathways that regulate the activity of the pleiotropic transcription factor NF-kB.
Dr. Sohn's lab is interested in understanding how biological stress-sensors are assembled, detect danger signals and initiate stress response.
Innate immunity is the first line of defense against invading pathogens in higher eukaryotes. We are using in vitro quantitative biochemical assays and mutagenesis and x-ray crystallography to investigate the underlying operating principles of inflammasomes, a component of the innate immune system, to better understand biological stress sensors.
Kelly Metcalf Pate Lab
The Kelly Metcalf Pate Lab focuses on the role of platelets in the innate immune response to viral infection, and how modulating the response of platelets to infection alters the course of disease.
Platelets are known to participate in innate immunity through cytokine signaling and direct interactions with other cells, and the platelet has the potential to significantly influence disease outcomes. However, platelet immunology is still a relatively new discipline, and the downstream effects of platelet interactions with other immune cells have yet to be determined in the context of viral infection.
Current research in our lab aims to further characterize the platelet-monocyte interaction during acute viral infection with the goals of establishing methods of pharmacologically manipulating this association, and establishing how platelet binding to a monocyte influences the monocyte's susceptibility to lentiviral infection and the monocyte's interactions with endothelium.
Additio...nally, we are interested in the effect of physiologic stress on the platelet's future immune response to infection, and in the development and optimization of novel in vitro systems that better model in vivo conditions.
Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology
Laboratory of Airway Immunity
We are interested in understanding how innate immune responses regulate lung health. Innate immunity involves ancient, and well-conserved mediators and their actions regulate the balance between homeostasis and pathogenesis. In the lungs, innate immunity play a critical role in response to environmental exposures such as allergen and ambient particulate matter. My lab focuses on how these exposures can promote aberrant mucosal responses that can drive the development of diseases like asthma.
The Stivers Lab is broadly interested in the biology of the RNA base uracil when it is present in DNA. Our work involves structural and biophysical studies of uracil recognition by DNA repair enzymes, the central role of uracil in adapative and innate immunity, and the function of uracil in antifolate and fluoropyrimidine chemotherapy. We use a wide breadth of structural, chemical, genetic and biophysical approaches that provide a fundamental understanding of molecular function. Our long-range goal is to use this understanding to design novel small molecules that alter biological pathways within a cellular environment. One approach we are developing is the high-throughput synthesis and screening of small molecule libraries directed at important targets in cancer and HIV-1 pathogenesis.