Immunology and Imaging Lab
Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares "Carlos III" (CNIC)
DESCRIPTION OF THE OFFER
Reeducating neutrophils for immune protection
Neutrophils are the most abundant innate immune leukocytes in the organism. The primary function is to protect from infections, yet their abnormal activation within vessels can lead to vascular injury, tissue damage and death. The question to be addressed under this Master is how do neutrophils know when to attack and when to pull back to prevent damage to healthy tissues, and whether the underlying mechanism can be manipulated to enhance protection of the host. We have discovered a mechanism based on the neutrophil molecular clock that establishes the basic rules for defense versus self-inflicting injury. We will use a number of tools, from genetic mouse models to receptor agonists and live imaging to examine whether we can enhance anti-microbial defense while at the same time preventing cardiovascular disease. The implications are important not only at the basic level (i.e., the 1-0-1 rules of immunity), but also to translate knowledge to the clinic, given the predominant role of neutrophils in highly prevalent disorders that range from stroke, to septic shock or myocardial infarction.
Ivan Ballesteros Martín