Vicki Rubin Kelley
My laboratory focuses on the molecular mechanisms of innate immunity and inflammation leading to tissue destruction. More specifically, we are investigating the attack mechanisms instrumental in targeted tissues for autoimmune destruction. Conversely, we probe for the barriers that protect these tissues from auto-destruction. Our concept is that destructive inflammation is the consequence of defective repair mechanisms. We are probing for the triggers that incite destructive inflammation. We use unique mutant strains including transgenic, knock-outs on select disease susceptible strains and gene transfer strategies to test the importance of a selected molecule in innate immunity mediated destruction. We focus on translational studies as our approach encompasses experimental models and humans.
The principal macrophage growth factors are CSF-1 and more recently identified, IL-34. CSF-1 has a sole receptor that is shared with IL-34. However, IL-34 has two additional receptors. Our current projects include: 1) IL-34 vs CSF-1 dependent macrophage and parenchymal cell mediated mechanisms leading tissue destructive inflammation 2) Pin-pointing the impact of the IL-34 receptors in autoimmune diseases, notably lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Our penultimate goal is to identify the cells and molecules instrumental in inciting and promoting auto-immune tissue damage and muscular dystrophy. The final goal is to construct a therapeutic strategy to halt immune tissue destruction.
Harvard Institutes of Medicine
77 Avenue Louis Pasteur
Boston, MA 2115