Associate Professor, Department of Immunology
Natural Killer (NK) cells are bone marrow derived cells that constitute 10-15% of blood lymphocytes. They are members of the emerging family of innate lymphoid cells that regulate innate immunity and tissue remodeling. NK cells can be activated by receptor recognition of target cells, cytokines or dendritic cells (DC) in microenvironments. Activation of NK has been studied mostly by its established effector functions, such as cytotoxic activity and/or production of signature cytokines (IFN-, TNF). To exert their immune-surveillance functions, however, NK-cell migration to peripheral tissues or inflamed lymph nodes is tightly regulated.
We are interested in understanding of how factors found in microenvironments regulate NK-cell development, recruitment and specific effector function(s). There is limited molecular understanding of how NK cell development and functions are regulated, especially at the level of transcription factors. We are particularly interested in the study of Ikaros family members in NK cells regulate specific NK activation or effector functions. We are interested in their epigenetic regulation(s) of cytokine genes, and identifying genes that are regulated by Ikaros family in NK cells of different maturation/activation states using chromatin immunoprecipitation and deep sequencing.
417 Apotex Center