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Leukocyte Biology and Inflammation

The prinicipal focus is centered around understanding basic mechanisms of leukocyte function in forms of inflammation. The two principal areas of investigation are: 1) the immunobiology of eosinophilic leukocytes: Studies of human eosinophils are aimed at defining mechanisms whereby eosinophils may collaboratively interact with other cellular elements of the immune system. Additional studies are focused on defining the molecular mechanisms governing the synthesis, granule storage and release mechanisms of eosinophil derived cytokines; and 2) the intracellular regulation and compartmentalization of inducible mediators of inflammation in eosinophils, neutrophils and other leukocytes: This research involves the study of a unique intracellular compartment, termed the lipid body, whose formation is rapidly inducible in leukocytes. The intracellular signaling mechanisms responsible for lipid body induction and especially the roles of lipid bodies as distinct sites of cytokine and eicosanoid mediator formation are being studied. These studies relate to defining the roles of eosinophils in asthma and allergic inflammation and in interstitial pulmonary fibrosis.