BiographyAs an immunologist and infectious disease specialist, I focus on basic investigations of host-pathogen interactions. I have a long-standing interest in immune response to infections. My laboratory focuses on the innate immune responses to clinically relevant fungal pathogens. We employ both cell biological and biochemical tools to understand the molecular mechanisms that govern host immunity to these microorganisms. Using mouse models with defined defects in innate immunity, we have described key mechanisms that orchestrate this immune response to fungal infections.
I also serve as the tenth Program Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Medicine Residency Program. I currently supervise 168 interns and residents. As an NIH-funded investigator with interests in basic science, I provide a unique perspective to the medical housestaff. Outstanding clinical care is fueled by basic discovery and our greatest opportunities to improve patient care comes from high-quality research.
ResearchWe wish to understand the rules that govern host defenses against invasive fungal infections and the molecular basis of recognition of pathogenic yeast by immune cells. To this end, my lab has investigated phagosome maturation within antigen presenting cells and how this process influences antigen processing and presentation. To conduct these studies, we employ advanced microscopy to visualize dynamic subcellular changes upon phagocytosis by macrophages and dendritic cells. We have developed novel tools to dissect this immune response including the development of synthetic fungal like particles, which display highly-purified carbohydrates of fungal origin that trigger inflammatory responses in innate immune cells. My collection of work has demonstrated that specific recruitment of mammalian proteins to phagosomes depends on its content and potently modulates the ensuing immune response.