The Inflammation Program is an interdisciplinary program comprised
of independent investigators who share a common interest in
understanding the cell and molecular biology of inflammation and its
causes and consequences. Current research foci include the
regulation of pro-inflammatory signaling between host and microbe;
the structure, function and mobilization of antimicrobial host
compounds; and the mechanisms by which successful pathogens can
evade or resist host defenses. The program provides an interactive
environment to promote new research into the fundamental biology of
inflammation. Most important is the shared belief that a more
complete understanding of cellular and molecular responses during
inflammation requires an integrated approach to the study of host
and microbe interactions.
Inflammation is a fundamental response of virtually all multicellular organisms to infection and injury. Essential functions to the inflammatory response include detection and response to invading microbes and to cellular damage, control of microbial proliferation and of microbial material, and repair of tissue injury. Although elaboration of acquired immune responses is necessary for optimal recognition and defense against microbial invaders, innate immune mechanisms protect the host during the interval before specific immunity has developed and function with enhanced specificity and potency after acquisition of specific immunity. The inflammatory response is associated with remarkable changes in the normal homeostatic relations between intra- and extra-vascular compartments of the organism. Hence, both deficiencies and dysregulation of inflammation underlies many common and life-threatening clinical disorders including infection and sepsis, inflammatory arthritides, tissue rejection and even atherosclerotic disease.