Our research interests include inflammation and neutrophil and monocyte biology, atherosclerosis, vascular and leukocyte adhesion molecules, mechanobiology and signal transduction. Technology development in fluorescence microscopy, flow cytometry, microfluidic devices to image leukocyte function on vascular mimetic models of vascular diseases.
We study the process of inflammation and its relation to acute infection and chronic diseases. The onset of vascular inflammation is the interaction between circulating leukocytes and endothelial cells. In order to fight infection, leukocytes must attach to the wall of a blood vessel and migrate through the endothelial lining. This process is tightly regulated by adhesion molecules and molecular signals produced at the vascular endothelium. When leukocyte recruitment becomes chronically dysregulated, a number of human diseases result including atherosclerosis, sepsis, and autoimmune diseases. We are currently exploring the mechanisms by which endothelial cells selectively produce adhesion molecules in response to specific inflammatory stimuli such as Staphylococcus aureus infection, and how leukocytes integrate these endothelial signals along with mechanical cues in order to arrest and migrate across the blood vessel wall. Another focus of the lab, is the development of novel means of imaging the process of inflammation using microfluidic vascular mimetic systems.