The Puré laboratory is investigating the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying inflammation and fibrosis, which play a significant role in a wide array of diseases, including atherosclerosis, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, liver cirrhosis, scleroderma, pulmonary fibrosis, and cancer. Cellular responses and molecular pathways mediated by the adhesion receptor CD44, the cell surface protease FAP , and 12/15-lipoxygenase, an enzyme involved in fatty acid metabolism, are being studied. These investigations may reveal promising targets for new drug therapies for application in inflammatory and fibrotic diseases.
Inflammation is an organism’s response to infection or injury. Although inflammation is largely a reparative response, severe acute inflammation or persistent inflammation can also lead to tissue damage and organ dysfunction. In fact, inflammation is now recognized to be a critical pathologic component underlying a wide variety of diseases ranging from acute septic shock to chronic inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer. Furthermore, excessive fibrosis - part of the healing response after inflammation, which entails the laying down of “scar-like” tissue in place of injured tissue - can impede tissue function. Furthermore, aberrant function of pathways involved in the development of the bone-marrow derived inflammatory cells can lead to the development of myeloproliferative disease, myodysplastic disease and leukemia. The overall goal of the Puré laboratory is to gain insights into the development of inflammatory cells and the molecular and cellular basis of inflammation and fibrosis, and to understand how the mechanisms involved in these processes contribute to leukemogenesis, and to the microenvironment of tumors and thereby impact tumor cell growth and metastasis.