Sepsis, which can be caused by an overwhelming immune response against infection, claims the lives of millions of newborns and children each year in the developing world and is responsible for 6% of the deaths in the United States. Complexes known as inflammasomes mediate the inflammation that is characteristic of sepsis, but the specifics of this process are poorly understood. Therefore, Dr. Jun Hu is characterizing gasdermin, a protein involved in inflammasome activity, to figure out the mechanisms that enable this inflammation. By determining gasdermin’s structure as well as how its activated and inhibited, Dr. Hu aims to expand our understanding of how inflammasome activity is regulated and influences overall immune activity. In addition to enabling new approaches to prevent sepsis, these insights could also highlight how this process could be harnessed as an effective means for targeting cancer.
Projects and Grants
Targeting Gasdermin D for potential therapeutic interventions
Boston Children’s Hospital | All Cancers | 2017 | Hao Wu, Ph.D.
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