Basic Science Research

Basic Science Research Laboratory – Marisco Hall, 919-966-3170

Clinical Faculty

  • Bruce A. Cairns, MD, Principal Investigator
  • Samuel W. Jones, MD, Principal Investigator

Non-Clinical Faculty

  • Robert Maile, PhD, Principal Investigator


  • Lindsey Glenn

Research Fellows

  • Laquanda Knowlin, MD, Trauma Research Fellow
  • Christopher Hauck, MD, Trauma Research Fellow

Graduate Students

  • Laurel Kartchner, Doctorate
  • Brandon Linz, Doctorate
  • Julia Malik, Doctorate

About the Burn Lab

The North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center conducts ongoing research into the best ways to treat burn survivors and assist their recovery. In addition, the Burn Center also works to develop best practices to prevent catastrophic burn events and triage patients when such events do occur. Through cutting-edge science and planning, the Burn Center is working to develop new solutions.

The Burn Lab performs basic science and translational research in order to understand the profound immune dysfunction that occurs after major trauma such as burn injury. We have developed a NIH-funded translational and collaborative Immunology research program. Our projects examine innate and adaptive immune responses against allograft, viral and bacterial pathogens after burn injury with particular focus on the lung. Our goal is to provide meaningful immunotherapeutics which will reduce the overall mortality, and length of hospital stay of burn patients. We use an established model of burn injury and banked patient samples, and have developed models of burn injury combined with radiation or inhalation injuries. We mentor PhD graduate students and clinical/academic postdoctoral research fellows, and teach within Microbiology and Immunology Graduate-level courses.

One of the most important priorities for the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center has been the development of a research program that encompasses clinical science, basic science and translational science. Through stable, endowment based funding in conjunction with Extramural NIH funding we have performed a number of basic science projects, multicenter trials, investigator initiated studies, and industry sponsored research. For the past five years we have also worked with the General Clinical Research Center (GCRC) under the auspices of the Doris Duke Clinical Research (DDCRC) Fellowship for Medical Students in order to conduct rigorous, high quality translational research in the Burn Center.


  • To perform world-quality translational and basic science research research into the immune consequences of burn injury
  • To forge productive collaborations with renowned investigators
  • To translate this research into clinical research and beneficial clinical interventions.


  • Burn patient susceptibility to infection due to injury-induced immunosuppression
  • Translating controlled murine models of burn injury into data for clinic research and interventions for burn patients rejecting

Current research questions include:

  • What is the role of persistent hyper-responsive CD8+ memory T cells that are generated after burn injury?
  • Can we use high throughput genomic and proteomic techniques to define the state of the immune system after burn injury?
  • Is burn-mediated immune suppression caused by an influx of macrophages with an altered phenotype and innate response to microbial products?
  • Does burn injury promote reactivation of latent viruses?
  • Can we harness stem cells to allow acceptance of skin allograft?