Figure representing mode of action of CpG ODN
The focus of my research lab involves the analysis of the intracellular pathways associated with immunostimulatory CpG oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) recognition and signaling. The nature of the immune response elicited by bacterial and mammalian DNA and the potential therapeutic applications of the synthetic ODN mimicking these macromolecules are the major research themes. Accompanying these interests are efforts to better define the role of Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR 9) and TLR ligand interactions (alone and in combination with other TLR ligands) in triggering an innate immune response. The techniques used to evaluate these issues range from cellular and molecular biology to the use of gene chips to compare the nature and breadth of gene and genome activation elicited by various TLR ligands. Studies concerning the activity of recently identified "suppressive ODN", including the mechanisms underlying their ability to block Th1 and pro-inflammatory cytokine/chemokine production is another major field of the lab. Finally, the in vivo immnunomodulatory efficacy of stimulatory and suppressive ODNs are being tested in mouse model system.