Profound metabolic changes occur hand-in-hand with activation of macrophages, innate immune cells responsible for a remarkable breadth of processes such as pathogen elimination, antigen presentation, debris clearance, and wound healing. Our work seeks to define precisely how mitochondrial metabolism directly affects innate immunity, and exactly which features of macrophage activation are controlled by this metabolic reprogramming.
It is now clear that altering flux through specific metabolic pathways, without changing bioenergetic rates per se, can have substantial impacts on physiological and disease processes as varied as oncogenesis, heart failure, immune cell activation, and neuronal excitability. Our work seeks to understand how shifting the nutrient preference away from oxidation of glucose and towards that of amino acids, fatty acids, and ketone bodies can adjust cell and tissue physiology in the context of neurodegeneration and heart failure.
Hand-in-hand with academic work, we also develop new and accessible methods for energy metabolism research. Additionally, we aim to help others design experiments and interpret data with methods-focused roadmaps and perspectives.