Current Research and Scholarly Interests
The overall goal of my research is to improve recovery from surgery by the single-cell analysis of signaling networks that govern the human immune response to surgical trauma. Using multi-parameter mass cytometry (CyTOF), we monitor with single-cell resolution the immune profile of patients undergoing surgery, and explore the relationships between patients’ immune profiles and post-operative outcomes. Specifically, we have identified a subset of macrophages that expands massively after surgery (the Surgery-Induced Myeloid Cells, SiMCs). This cell type harbors a similar phenotype to a subset of Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells described in the context of cancer immune-surveillance. We hypothesize that SiMCs inhibit the adaptive immune response to surgery in humans and may contribute to adverse peri-operative outcomes, such as protracted recovery, infections or cancer recurrence.