Dr Gabriel Sollberger
My laboratory wants to study how the interplay of different forms of cell death affects the clearance of infection as well as host pathology.
Neutrophils, the most abundant human leukocytes, undergo a special form of cell death, the formation of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), whereby the dying cells release their chromatin to the extracellular space. NETs can be beneficial, they are large structures, which capture extracellular pathogens and limit their spread. However, NETs can also lead to tissue damage and contribute to host pathology, such as thrombosis or the development of autoimmune disease. This dual nature suggests that, depending on the situation, both the activation as well as the inhibition of NET formation could be therapeutic targets.
Focusing on human neutrophils and using cell biological techniques, we want to understand the molecular pathways underlying NET formation. We subsequently want to modulate these pathways and use multicellular systems to study the impact of NETs and other forms of immune cell death on inflammation and pathology.