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Host Defense/Innate Immunity

Host Defense

Exciting recent discoveries have heightened interest in the mechanisms that protect the lung from infection and injury. In the past decade our understanding of host defense has been hugely augmented by the recognition of extracellular and intracellular sensors designed to detect danger associated molecular patterns.

Our division's research efforts are highly focused upon this new area of study which links the detection of pathogens and injurious agents to the production of inflammatory mediators and to host cell life and death.

Innate Immunity

Innate immunity controls signaling pathways that promote cell survival and regulate apoptosis, the function of mitochondria and the regulation of antibacterial mechanisms that are central to lung protection.

Studies currently address the role of these novel pathways in host responses in sepsis and pneumonia, transplant related pathology, asthma, cancer and vascular biology.


Researchers interact with the following centers/programs in both human and animal based models:

  • Center for Microbial Interface Biology
  • Critical Care Signature Program

Host Defense/Innate Immunity Research Team