Animals have evolved diverse mechanisms to withstand a variety of perturbations during growth, including infections, tumors, and malnutrition. Signals induced by these stressors are monitored by the neuroendocrine system, which in turn produces hormones that govern growth and maturation, as well as the innate immune system, which acts to restore order after disruptions. In particular, innate immune cells called macrophages play an important role, but it’s not understood how they sense perturbations and communicate with the neuroendocrine system to control developmental timing.
Therefore, Dr. Juarez-Carreño aims to explore how the PDGF and VEGF signaling pathways control developmental timing and growth through macrophage-mediated regulation of the neuroendocrine response. The insights he uncovers could have important implications in cancer immunology, as macrophages are the largest population of cells within tumors that can support their growth, and identifying macrophage-related targets could provide new therapeutic approaches for patients with cancer.
Projects and Grants
The Function of Metazoan Macrophages as Sensors of Nutritional State to Regulate Tissue Growth. A Genetic, Molecular, and Functional Analysis in Drosophila Melanogaster
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center | All Cancers | 2020 | Frederic Geissmann, M.D., Ph.D.
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