Welcome to the Program in Innate Immunity at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. We are an interdisciplinary and interdepartmental group of investigators, centered in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, who are focused on discovering the underlying mechanisms that drive immune defenses and inflammation, in both health and disease. Investigations in the program range from very basic studies, in invertebrate and vertebrate model systems, to human based studies of infectious, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
Basic and clinical innate immunologists collaborate to probe the fundamental mechanisms underlying innate immune recognition, signal transduction and host-defense in order to develop the next generation of therapeutics to treat infectious, inflammatory, metabolic diseases and cancer.
Innate Immunity is central to defend nearly all multi-cellular organisms from microbial infection. Innate Immunity relies on germline-encoded receptors, which sense microbial products and endogenous danger signals. Careful regulation of innate immunity is essential to ensure effective clearance of pathogens and to avoid detrimental inflammatory disease.
Strategically boosting innate immune responses is critical to improve vaccines and to develop new therapies to cure infectious diseases that are otherwise difficult to treat. On the other hand, understanding innate immunity will enable the development of more targeted therapeutics to intervene in a variety of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.