Research Interests: Molecular Immunology, asthma and autoimmune diseases.
The main goal of our group is to understand the molecular mechanisms that control thymic development, activation, differentiation and survival of T cells. Specifically, we are working on: 1) the role of the p38 MAP kinase signaling pathway in the regulation of a G2/M cell cycle checkpoint in immature thymocytes, 2) the regulation and role of p38 MAP kinase in death of CD8+ T cells and its implications in arthritis, 3) the regulation and role of JNK in CD4+ and CD8+ T cell activation and death, 4) the regulation and role of NFAT in activation and survival of naïve and memory CD4+ T cells, and 5) the role of IL-6 in the differentiation of CD4+ T cells into Th1 and Th2 effector cells in vitro and its implication in in vivo development of allergic airways inflammation and tumor development . We are addressing these questions from a molecular point of view, trying to identify the upstream and downstream components of the signaling pathways. To this end, we are using a variety of experimental approaches including the generation of new transgenic and knockout mouse models, RNAi, microarray analysis/bioinformatics, molecular cloning, and in vitro and in vivo T cell activation models. We are also actively working on the molecular mechanisms underline multidrug resistance in breast and ovarian cancer.