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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
Platelet Physiology Research Lab
Dr. Williams' research focuses on platelet physiology particularly as it relates to acute coronary syndromes and depression. Her laboratory specifically examines platelet aggregation, flow cytometric analysis to measure platelet activation, platelet luminescence as a measure of the platelet release reaction, many Elisa preparations in order to measure platelet function, platelet genotyping to determine the presence of certain platelet polymorphisms, and various other assays to distinguish mechanisms of platelet dysfunction. The goal for her cardiovascular platelet laboratory is to identify the etiology of platelet dysfunction in many disease states and apply methods that may improve this dysfunction that can eventually be translated to therapies for patients with cardiovascular disease. Scientific techniques performed in the lab include: flow cytometric analysis, platelet microparticle identification, and protein immunoprecipitation among other techniques.