Comparative Biosciences Department
Signal transduction and epigenetic regulation of microglial gene transcription and immune function
3466 Veterinary Medicine Building
2015 Linden Dr
Madison, WI 53706
Immunology; Physiology; Transcriptional Mechanisms
The overall goal of my research program is to investigate the cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating changes in microglial phenotype and function as they contribute to CNS pathology and recovery in chronic neuroinflammatory disorders. To study microglial plasticity, we use a highly clinically relevant rodent model of neuroinflammation, induced by chronic intermittent hypoxia (CIH). Our laboratory has characterized microglial gene expression over the course of CIH-induced neuroinflammation and identified for the first time, critical transitional periods that occur between inflammatory and reparative/neurotrophic phenotypes over the course of chronic disease. The specific timing of these effects and the elaborate shifts in classes of genes expressed at these times suggest that microglia utilize tightly regulated mechanisms to control their activities during CNS adaptation to chronic injury. Our recent evidence implicates a critical role for epigenetic processes (e.g. histone demethylation and microRNAs) in the mechanisms employed by microglia to initiate transitions between inflammatory and neurotrophic phenotypes.
ALSO A TRAINER IN THE FOLLOWING PROGRAMS: Neuroscience (NTP), Endocrinology and Reproductive Physiology (ERP), Comparative Biosciences (CBMS), Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology (MCP), Cellular and Molecular Pathology (CMP), Molecular and Environmental Toxicology (MET)