Our goal is to dissect the mechanisms of immune-brain cross-talk and create a strong foundation for future immunotherapy approaches to neurological disease.
Our approach encompasses scRNA-seq and other technologies of genomics, classical tools of immunology, behavioral testing, and everything else that could help us identify the mechanisms of brain immune communication.
Immune activity at the brain borders
Immune cells modulate CNS activities in physiology, but peripheral immune cells are rarely found in direct contact with the neural tissue. Instead, the immune cells are thought to affect the brain remotely and indirectly, from its borders, anatomical structures, which separate the CNS from the periphery. We hope to identify mechanisms of such remote immune influence by focusing on the choroid plexus (blood-CSF barrier), as well as skull marrow niche.
Microglia are extremely specialized immune cells, which reside in the CNS and play key roles in its development, homeostasis and disease. Such specialization is imposed by the peculiar environment the microglia have to live in; separated from other immune cells, bathed by interstitial fluid of the CNS and staying in constant contact with electrically active neurons and glia. Our goal is to reveal molecular circuits shaping microglial identity, and understanding how microglia shape the CNS in response.