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Our laboratory is interested in studying mechanisms of host defense against microbes and cancer. Through these efforts, our laboratory and others have discovered how our cells in our body recognizes microbial infection to trigger host defense responses. This process is controlled by cellular sensors which recognize microbe-specific molecules which elicit an innate immune signaling cascade leading to the transcription of key genes such as type I interferon (IFN) and cytokines that stimulate adaptive immunity. While essential for host defense countermeasures, such cellular innate immune signaling pathways can also cause inflammation, if overstimulated. Thus, innate immune signaling process are carefully controlled, to avoid chronic cytokine production. Innate immune signaling is also essential for the effective generation of anti-tumor adaptive immunity. Understanding these mechanisms has shed considerable insight into pathogenesis and has led to the development of novel therapeutics to treat a variety of infectious, inflammatory and cancer related disease. Our laboratory continues to study these processes.
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