Bobby J. Cherayil, M.D., M.B.,B.S.
|Title||Associate Professor of Pediatrics|
|Institution||Massachusetts General Hospital|
|Address||Massachusetts General Hospital|
Pediatric Gastroenterology, Rm 3400
114 16th Street
Charlestown MA 02129
Research in my laboratory is broadly directed at elucidating the molecular details of mammalian innate immunity, particularly in the gastrointestinal tract. We use a combination of in vitro and in vivo approaches to analyze the host factors that influence the response to infection with Salmonella typhimurium, an important agent of acute gastroenteritis in humans. In an on-going series of experiments, we are attempting to elucidate the effects of altered iron metabolism on macrophage function in salmonellosis. These studies have revealed a novel role for intracellular iron in the regulation of inflammatory cytokine biosynthesis, and have important implications for our understanding of host-pathogen interactions in conditions such as hemochromatosis.
Available: 10/01/12, Expires: 09/03/13
My lab is interested in the interactions between iron metabolism and innate immunity. We have shown that abnormalities of systemic iron homeostasis have a significant effect on the inflammatory response to both infectious and non-infectious stimuli, and have clarified some of the underlying mechanisms. The present project is directed at exploring the effects of dietary iron on innate immune defenses in the gastrointestinal tract. The rationale for studying this issue is based on observations (both clinical and experimental) showing that oral iron supplements can exacerbate some infectious and inflammatory conditions affecting the gastrointestinal tract while an iron deficient diet can ameliorate such conditions. The mechanisms responsible for these effects are not well understood.
The project will involve the use of in vitro and in vivo (mouse) experiments to characterize the effects of iron on innate immune responses to the bacterial enteropathogen Salmonella typhimurium. In vitro, the participating student will study the effects of altering iron concentrations in the cell culture medium on the interactions between intestinal epithelial cell lines and Salmonella. Some of the parameters to be examined include bacterial invasion of the cell, cell survival, and activation of cellular inflammatory and anti-microbial responses. Similar studies will be carried out in vivo by altering the concentration of iron in the diet fed to the mice.
Further information on research in my lab can be found at www.massgeneral.org/mucosalimmunology.
The participating student should have some understanding of basic cell biology and immunology. Prior lab experience would be helpful but is not essential.
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