Christoph Thaiss, Ph.D.

Title
Assistant Professor
Department
Microbiology
Institution
University of Pennsylvania
Address
3610 Hamilton Walk
City, State, Zip
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone
215-746-7765
E-mail
[email protected]
Website
http://www.thaisslab.com
Research Field
Immunology; Microbiology; Metabolism
Award Year
2020

Research

Tissue-protective functions are essential for maintaining homeostasis, while their decline is involved in the pathogenesis of numerous age-associated diseases. The Thaiss lab investigates how immune cells contribute to tissue maintenance—and how loss of this housekeeping function exacerbates disease. Immune functions go far beyond the ability to eliminate infections. They also play an important—albeit less understood—role in scouring tissues for damage and eliminating the harmful materials that build up in and around cells, such as the toxic plaques found in people with atherosclerosis and neurodegenerative disease. We will use a combination of techniques in molecular immunology and genetics, cell biology, neuroscience, and metabolism to identify the molecules by which immune cells sense the deviation from homeostasis in tissues, probe the molecular pathways through which these molecules act, and determine what happens when these sensing functions are abrogated. Our work will define new sensory abilities of immune cells and could lead to novel approaches to enhancing tissue tolerance to damage. This approach will yield new insights into the pathogenesis of age-related disorders from metabolic diseases to neurodegeneration.

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