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David Underhill, PhD

Chair, Biomedical Sciences

Janis and William Wetsman Family Chair in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Professor, Medicine

Professor, Biomedical Sciences

David Underhill, PhD

David Underhill, PhD

Chair, Biomedical Sciences

Janis and William Wetsman Family Chair in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Professor, Medicine

Professor, Biomedical Sciences

The research of David Underhill, PhD, focuses on the molecular mechanisms by which blood phagocytes such as macrophages and dendritic cells recognize microbes and initiate inflammatory responses. We are constantly exposed to microbes, both as infectious organisms and as commensal organisms living normally in, for example, our intestines. A central question in immunology is to understand how inflammatory responses are directed specifically against infectious organisms, and how these responses become tailored to specific microbial infections. The laboratory has a long-standing interest in the role of phagocytosis, the process by which immune cells eat foreign microbes, and how this contributes to inflammation. The group is also interested in how the intestinal microbiome, especially the fungi in the gut, regulate immune responses and contribute to inflammatory diseases of the gut. Underhill and his lab members believe that understanding how macrophages and dendritic cells translate recognition of microbes into inflammatory responses will lead to the design of targeted interventions to clinically manipulate these processes.

  • Cedars-Sinai Prize for Research in Scientific Medicine (PRISM), 2020
  • Society for Leukocyte Biology - President-elect, 2019
  • Established Investigator, American Heart Association, 2006
  • Limon JJ, Tang J, Li D, Wolf AJ, Michelsen KS, Funari V, Gargus M, Nguyen C, Sharma P, Maymi VI, Iliev ID, Skalski JH, Brown J, Landers C, Borneman J, Braun J, Targan SR, McGovern DPB, Underhill DM. Malassezia Is Associated with Crohn's Disease and Exacerbates Colitis in Mouse Models. Cell Host Microbe. 2019;25:377-388
  • Paterson MJ, Caldera JR, Nguyen C, Sharma P, Castro AM, Kolar SL, Tsai CM, Limon JJ, Becker CA, Martins GA, Liu GY, Underhill DM. Harnessing antifungal immunity in pursuit of a Staphylococcus aureus vaccine strategy. PLoS Pathog. 2020;16:e1008733
  • Wolf AJ, Reyes CN, Liang W, Becker C, Shimada K, Wheeler ML, Cho HC, Popescu NI, Coggeshall KM, Arditi M, Underhill DM. Hexokinase is an innate immune receptor for the detection of bacterial peptidoglycan. Cell. 2016;166(3):624-636.

English

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