Our group uses molecular genetics to study the regulation of signaling networks that control immune and nervous system function and development. The systems biology of the TAM (Tyro3, Axl, and Mer) RTKs in the immune and nervous systems is currently a major project focus of the lab. These receptors, and their integration and regulation of the innate immune response, were both initially described by our group.
We are studying the role that TAM RTKs play in the maintenance of cellular homeostasis in macrophages, dendritic cells, and microglia. We are particularly interested in the role that dysregulation of the TAM signaling network plays in (a) the development of autoimmune diseases such as Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, and Rheumatoid Arthritis, (b) the course of infection by influenza, HIV, West Nile, and Dengue viruses, and (c) the organization and function of synapses in the central nervous system.