Our research focuses on leukocyte migration and trafficking and how defects in cell migration contribute to human disease.
Tissue damage and repair represent fundamental problems in human health. Despite progress in understanding the signals that mediate wound repair, there is a significant gap in understanding how different types of cells communicate to integrate a wound healing response. Defects in specific pathways or repair responses can contribute to the pathogenesis of broad areas of human disease including cardiovascular disease, cancer, lung disease, tissue fibrosis, immune disorders and rheumatologic disease.
My laboratory has developed the tools to simultaneously image and manipulate epithelial, vascular, macrophage and neutrophil responses to localized tissue damage in zebrafish. The optical transparency and ease of genetic manipulation make zebrafish an ideal modelsystem to dissect multi-cellular and tissue interactions during wound repair. Understanding how wound repair is orchestrated and integrated at both the single cell and multi-cellular level is a focus of our research. These questions will be addressed using optogenetic tools, genomic approaches and advanced imaging in zebrafish complemented by human and in vitro studies.