Dra. Fabiola Osorio
Universidad de Chile
Research program abstract: Fabiola Osorio, PhD
Our immune system has evolved specialized mechanisms to coordinate appropriate immune responses to noxious threats while maintaining host homeostasis. A paradigm of immunology refers to the concept of ‘Pattern Recognition’, where immune cells are equipped with dedicated sensors able to detect specific signatures present in foreign stimuli or abnormal self for the coordination of long-lasting immunity. Nevertheless, emerging evidence indicates that the immune system not only decodes information via Pattern Recognition mechanisms, but is also able to sense alterations in cellular homeostasis that emerge as a result of pathogen presence or disruption of normal physiology. The mechanisms involved in the recognition of a stressor, adaptation, and restoration of the system to the homeostatic state are collectively known as cellular stress responses, and their contribution to the initiation of immunity remains to be fully elucidated. My laboratory focuses on understanding how immune cells interpret signs of cellular stress and what signaling events downstream of stress responses are relevant for the initiation of adaptive immunity. One focus of our research is the regulation of protein homeostasis as a central hub of immune responses. For this we use an integrative strategy ranging from molecular and cellular approaches, relevant in vivo models of cancer and infection and finally, translation to cell biology in humans. The mechanisms underlying the regulation of immunity by homeostatic perturbations may be highly relevant in contexts of inflammatory human diseases.
- Regulation of dendritic cell function by endoplasmic reticulum stress
- Endoplasmic Reticulum stress in the control of tolerance to infection
- Regulation of antitumor immunity by the Unfolded Protein Response
- Cellular stress responses as regulators of dendritic cell function in mice and human