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Douglas Golenbock, MD

Douglas GolenbockBy Merin C. MacDonald | Date published: January 25, 2023

January Researcher Spotlight: Douglas Golenbock, MD

In this month’s Researcher Spotlight, we highlight the work of Douglas Golenbock, MD, the Neil and Margery Blacklow Chair in Infectious Diseases and Immunology, professor of medicine, division chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, and co-director of the Program in Innate Immunity.

Dr. Golenbock is a physician-scientist who has spent much of his career working on developing therapeutic interventions for important human diseases and he has made substantial contributions to the investigation of innate immune mechanisms in human cells. His research focuses on innate immunity in the context of bacterial and parasitic infections, as well as neurodegenerative diseases. His major interests are in the mechanisms of inflammation, such as the role of the innate immune response in gonococcal infections, nucleic acid recognition in both bacterial infections and malaria, epigenetics related to malaria infection, and NLRP3-related inflammation in Alzheimer’s disease. His laboratory was also one of the first in the world to study Toll receptors and his group has gone on to develop one of the largest reagent collections of any lab in the world to investigate issues related to innate immunity, including over 120 knockout mouse lines, hundreds of transformed macrophage cell lines, cDNAs, purified ectodomains of Toll-like receptors, and more.

Dr. Golenbock has nearly 300 peer-reviewed publications, many in high-impact journals, and over 81,000 citations. He has received continuous funding from the NIH for over 30 years and has been a recipient of an NIH MERIT Award. He is an elected member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences and has received the Sheldon E. Greisman Award from the International Endotoxin & Innate Immune Society, an award that is given to an investigator who has made “substantial and original contributions which have led to an increased understanding of the interactions between microorganisms and innate immunity.” Indeed, his numerous contributions and reputation for excellence and innovation in his field have led to speaking engagements all around the world. Dr. Golenbock has also been an organizer and chair of the international Toll meetings that have become the major specialty scientific meeting in his field, and he is a founding and current co-chair of the annual Innate Immunity Day scientific symposium on the campus of UMass Chan Medical School.

In addition to his research contributions, Dr. Golenbock is actively engaged in and committed to training the next generation of scientists and physician-scientists, having mentored over 30 students and postdocs in his lab and clinical fellows in Infectious Diseases. During his time at UMass Chan, he has also served as a trusted mentor to several faculty.

Dr. Golenbock earned his medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He completed his Internal Medicine internship and residency at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, DC, and his fellowship in Infectious Diseases at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics in Madison, Wisconsin. He also completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in Biochemistry in the laboratory of Christian R.H. Raetz at the University of Wisconsin and Merck Research Laboratories in New Jersey. Dr. Golenbock joined as faculty and chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology in the Department of Medicine at UMass Chan/UMass Memorial Health in 2001. Prior to his arrival at UMass, Dr. Golenbock was faculty at the Boston University School of Medicine.

Learn more about Dr. Golenbock.

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