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Immune cell modulation is an attractive strategy for the treatment of inflammatory conditions. Inflammation is critical to protecting us from dangers within (e.g. cancer) and without (e.g. microbes). But inflammation also drives much human pathology and disease, including autoimmune diseases and, potentially, neurodevelopmental disorders.
Towards improved treatments for a range of conditions, we are interested in uncovering novel mechanisms controlling the function and development of pathogenic immune cells. Nuclear hormone receptor (NhRs) family members are thought to play key roles in these pathways. They are regulated by cell-membrane-permeable small-molecule ligands and play critical roles in immune cell function.
Specifically, we aim to identify host- and bacteria-derived small molecules that control inflammation in mammalian guts. We are also interested in uncovering the mechanisms by which NhRs control immune cell differentiation and function. Finally, we are studying the mechanisms by which inflammation dictates neural development.
** Highly motivated rotation students and postdoctoral candidates are encouraged to apply!! If interested, send an email to Jun.Huh@umassmed.edu