The Rongvaux Lab studies the innate immune response, the very first steps in the development of an immune response after exposure to a pathogen, stress or injury. Our work focuses on understanding how this immune system recognizes and responds to the presence of abnormal cells, such as tumors or infected cells, and how this immune response contributes to disease.
In particular, we are studying:
1) How dying cells interact with the immune system and affect the outcome of the response, and
2) How macrophages contribute to the tumor microenvironment and affect tumor development.
To address these questions, we are developing specific models of genetically-modified mice, including “humanized mouse” models that allow us to translate our findings to pre-clinical conditions.