Investigating macrophage responses to danger signals

Inflammasome are molecular complexes present mainly in innate immune cells that form in response to danger signals and that regulate initiation of inflammation by controlling activation and release of pro-inflammatory cytokines Il-1B and IL-18.

They also regulate pyroptosis, a process of regulated cell death that also contributes to the release of additional inflammatory pathways such as HMGB1 or control of inflammation.

Inappropriate activation of this molecular complexes by either gain of function mutations or dysregulation lead to initiation or progression of diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer or autoinflammatory syndromes.

We are interested in understanding more about inflammasome regulation, at the cellular and molecular level, in health and disease.

Current areas of investigation:

  • Discovery of new small molecules that inhibit the inflammasomes.
  • Understanding how innate cells sense danger signals and how this leads to the assembly of this complexes.
  • The cellular biology of inflammasome activation.
  • The relation of different cytokines of the IL-1 family that are regulated by the inflammasome.
  • Contribution of inflammasome to disease progression in the brain.