Evanna Mills

Evanna Mills

Member of the Faculty of Immunology
Evanna Mills

The research of my lab focuses on understanding how metabolites act as signaling molecules to regulate diverse biological processes. We apply state-of-the-art mass spectrometry, biochemical, and genetic approaches to identify mitochondrial metabolic pathways that control the function of immune cells and how they contribute to the pathology of inflammatory and metabolic diseases, and cancer. Our work focuses on elucidating these mechanisms at the cellular and whole-body level with a strong focus on both mechanism and in vivo relevance. A central theme of the lab is understanding and exploring the concept of metabolite exchange as a mode of inter-cell communication with a principal focus on diverse macrophage populations.

Key research areas being explored in the lab are:

  1. Understanding how macrophages use metabolites to communicate to, and alter the function of, surrounding cells. This project has a key focus on the myeloid-derived immunomodulatory metabolite itaconate.
  2. Understanding how metabolites can signal via G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) on the surface of macrophages, and other cell types, to alter cell function. This project has a key focus on the metabolite succinate, which has been implicated in the pathology of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and cancer.
  3. Exploring how sex alters cellular and whole-body metabolism to influence metabolic and inflammatory disease.

Contact Information

Dana Farber Cancer Institute
1 Jimmy Fund Way
Smith 758B
Boston, MA 02215