Descriptor of Research
The general focus of my laboratory has been the diversity, specificity, signaling and biological impact of cell surface receptors expressed on leukocytes involved in innate immune responses, including natural killer (NK) cells, plasmacytoid dendritic cells (PDC) and macrophages. My leadership, expertise and productivity in this area is testified by over 160 primary studies in peer-reviewed journals, as well as 48 invited reviews and commentaries published over a period of 18 years. Through mechanistic studies in isolated immune cells and in vivo mouse models, we have made progress towards understanding human innate immune responses. Beyond the broad implications of our work for mechanisms of autoimmunity in type 1 diabetes, we have addressed a number of specific questions in diabetes pathogenesis. Through our studies of the DNAM-1, encoded by a gene associated with type 1 diabetes in humans, we showed that blocking the interactions between this cell surface immunereceptor and CD155 can delay the onset of diabetes in mouse models of type 1 diabetes. More recently our studies have focused on the protective role of interferon I responses in preventing viral-induced beta cell damage subsequent diabetes.