Linkage between local inflammation and TGFβ activity as an orchestrator of tissue homeostasis
The overarching aim of our research is to understand how local immune responses are orchestrated to maintain tissue homeostasis under inflammatory conditions. Specifically, we want to understand the crosstalk of tissue resident immune cells and the surrounding tissue and to understand the underlying molecular mechanisms by which pro- and anti-inflammatory stimuli determine the outcome of local immune responses. Deficiencies in local immune regulation often lead to inflammation-associated diseases, such as fibrotic diseases, atherosclerosis or arthritis, as well as to auto-immune diseases or allergies. Thus, a better understanding of the fundamental mechanisms that regulate local immune responses are of central importance in order to find more efficient ways of treating such diseases. Our research has revealed that the immune system has adapted the evolutionary conserved signalling pathway of the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR). In particular, we discovered that a crosstalk between the EGFR and TGFβ controls local immune responses. Currently, we are exploring the fundamental implications of this novel avenue of research and apply our findings for the development of novel therapeutic approaches to translate this knowledge to the benefit of patients.
Professor for Immune Cell Communication, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh - UK (Associate Professor)
University of Regensburg, Regensburg - Germany