Associate Professor of Surgery
Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center Research Laboratory
Immunology, Translational research, Inhalation injury, Autommunity
- PhD Degree: University of Bristol, United Kingdom, 1998
- Postgraduate Training: Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill North Carolina
- American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellow
I am an Associate Professor within the UNC Department of Surgery with joint faculty appointments in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and the Curriculum Toxicology & Environmental Medicine. I independently direct the basic science and translational research efforts of the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center (NCJBC) within UNC and UNC Hospitals. My overarching personal research interest is in innate and adaptive immune regulation during health and in disease, using models of transplantation and autoimmunity. My focus at the NC Jaycee Burn Center for the last decade has been developing a translational and collaborative Immunology research program to tease apart the mechanisms of the acute and chronic immune effects of Burn Injury. My projects examine immune responses against allograft, viral and bacterial pathogens after burn and /or inhalation injury with particular focus on lung and skin infections and manipulation of the innate immune system. My goal is to provide meaningful immunotherapeutics and diagnostics which will reduce the overall mortality, and length of hospital stay of burn and other trauma patients. I use an established mouse model of burn injury and have developed NIH-funded models of burn injury combined with radiation or inhalation injuries to test potential countermeasures. I also have the unique ability to translate my findings with a large number of banked burn patient blood, skin and pulmonary samples. I have a long-standing collaboration with Dr Bruce Cairns MD, Clinical Director of the NCJBC, which has facilitated this translational and collaborative Immunology research program. More recent interest and collaborations have focused on 1) DAMPs and TLR activation of professional and non-professional immune cells and investigating specific modulators of this interaction, 2) the role of insufficient pulmonary NRF2 activation after inhalation and burn injury, 3) sex differences in inflammatory diseases.