Inflammation involves a complex interplay of biochemical pathways that trigger and shape the immune response. These culminate in a coordinated response that is essential for protection against invading pathogens. Inflammation, if unchecked, can favor the development of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
Thus, mechanisms that regulate its duration and intensity are fundamental to immune homeostasis. Our research interest is to elucidate the mechanisms that underlie the regulation of inflammation and the homeostatic control of immune function. We have discovered a signaling pathway downstream of the TAM (Tyro3, Axl, Mer) receptor tyrosine kinases that limits the amplitude and phase of the inflammatory response.
We are currently focusing on identifying the in vivo source of TAM ligands, unraveling the molecular determinants that account for the specificity of TAM-mediated inhibition, and testing the role of TAM-mediated immune suppression in vivo. Our long-term goal is to manipulate this pathway as an innovative therapeutic strategy for the inhibition or enhancement of the inflammatory response.