The Goodridge lab is studying the development and function of white blood cells known as myeloid phagocytes (macrophages, dendritic cells and neutrophils). These immune cells defend the body against invading microbes, and also play important roles in the regulation of inflammatory diseases.
During their development from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in the bone marrow and upon release into the circulation and tissues, these cells are constantly influenced by contact with other cells and soluble factors in their microenvironment, which instruct their production and behavior. Understanding the molecular mechanisms that regulate the development of myeloid phagocytes will reveal opportunities to therapeutically manipulate the function of these cells.
The Goodridge lab is particularly interested in the effects of microbial exposure on HSCs and other blood progenitor cells. Recent reports have shown that when HSCs encounter microbes or microbial products, myeloid phagocyte production is boosted. The Goodridge lab is characterizing the function of the cells produced in response to microbial exposure.
- Role of macrophages and dendritic cells in innate immune responses
- Pattern recognition receptors – detection of microbial components and signal transduction pathways
- Detection of bacteria, fungi and parasitic worms by Toll-like receptors (TLRs)
- Detection of fungal ß-glucans by Dectin-1
- Dectin-1 phagocytic synapses (click here for more information)
- Immune modulation by parasites