Macrophages in immunity and diseases

Macrophages are widely spread in all tissues with different phenotypes and functions. They play critical roles in such diverse processes as tissue homeostasis and remodeling and immune responses. Because macrophages are a key group of inflammatory cells, they are also involved in many inflammatory diseases. However, because of their diversity and plasticity, macrophages are understudied, and their precise role in tissue homeostasis, immunity and diseases are not well understood. We are interested in alveolar macrophages in the lung, especially their role in asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and responses to Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) infection. We are developing a convergent research program, taking advantage of existing transcriptional profiling studies, humanized mice, and clinical samples, to elucidate molecular mechanisms that underlie the role of macrophages in lung immunity and diseases, with a long-term goal of manipulating alveolar macrophages for treating TB infection and inflammatory lung diseases.

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