Current Research and Scholarly Interests
My research studies the mechanisms by which blood platelets respond to disease.
Blood platelets play critical roles in multiple processes and diseases, from their traditional function in hemostasis and wound healing to inflammation, immunity, cancer metastasis and angiogenesis. There is evolving evidence that the molecular signature of platelets may be changed in disease conditions where these processes are altered. Our interests are in identifying the precise mechanisms utilized by platelets in adapting to the disease environment.
To that end, we apply integrative strategies of omics-based discovery (from large clinical cohorts) paired with validation through molecular, cellular, in-vivo and computational approaches. Recent findings have outlined a number of heretofore unrecognized platelet mechanisms that are central to platelet response in disease. One such mechanism we identify is the unfolded protein response (UPR) significant in the platelet translational machinery, proper folding of proteins and protein homeostasis. Current focus of our research is directed toward a molecular understanding of the UPR and the broader integrated stress response in the platelet, and deciphering what fraction, if any, is derived from their parent megakaryocytes. UPR is not the only driving mechanism in platelet response to disease, and substantial current effort is also directed at additional biological triggers, including cross-functional interactions with other immune cells.