The immune system’s ability to sense invading pathogens and tissue damage is essential for the survival of any multicellular organism. Immune responses towards any given trigger must be carefully balanced, yet pronounced, timely and judicious enough to promote full tissue repair or killing of the invading pathogen. In this research program we aim to identify novel mechanisms by which immune cells sense infection and danger and we will decipher the molecular mechanisms of how immune receptors are regulated to provide a calibrated response that is adjusted to the magnitude and time of stimulation. We will collaborate to work on the following major aims:
1. By using unbiased genetic and pharmacological screens, we aim to identify novel signaling receptors and pathway components involved in sensing of PAMPs or DAMPs and their modulation.
2. We will further identify and characterize novel ligands that can drive inflammation and generate molecular diagnostic approaches for inflammatory conditions using functionalized innate immune receptor bio-conjugates as molecular tools.
3. We will exploit biophysical and ultrastructural imaging techniques to resolve the spatiotemporal regulation and ultrastructural organization of immune signaling receptors and signalosome complexes.
4. We will utilize fluorescence spectroscopy, photo-optical and molecular caging techniques to define the contribution of ion fluxes to immune receptor activation and signaling.