Dr. Reichner's Lab
Dr. Reichner's lab focuses on mechanisms of tumor metastasis, macrophage biology and characterization of the b-glucan receptor during normal and septic conditions. Neutrophils are the most predominant innate immune cell in the circulation and are the first immune cells to respond to an injury or infection. Since most infections occur within bodily tissues, neutrophils must exit the bloodstream and precisely navigate to the infectious source to destroy the contaminating microbes and defend the health host.
Dr. Reichner’s lab studies the response of neutrophils to pathogenic fungi. The binding of neutrophils to fungi occurs by the cell surface receptor CR3 recognizing fungal beta-glucan which is a structural component of the cell wall of the pathogen. Since the anti-microbial function of neutrophils occurs within tissues, his lab considers the role of the extracellular matrix, tissue elasticity and the three dimensional microenvironment as regulatory factors mediating the response of the neutrophil. In sum, the neutrophil is sensitive to regulation by both receptor mediated biochemical interactions as well as the physical nature of the environment for which specific receptors are not readily apparent.