The Surgical Metabolism laboratory is focused on the definition of the phenotypes of wound cells, and of the wound environment as a determinant of these phenotypes. Particular emphasis has been placed on the characterization of the wound macrophage phenotype and of the cellular and extracellular signals encountered by monocytes arriving at a site of injury that modulate their differentiation into wound healing macrophages.
The lab recently published a paper (Brancato et al. 2013. Wound Repair and Regeneration 21(4) 624-633) describing a role for Toll-like receptor 4, which is an innate immune sensor of tissue damage and infection, in directing both the inflammatory and angiogenic/fibrotic responses after sterile injury. Another recent focus of the lab has been to understand the origin and nature of the repair macrophage through studies aimed at characterizing the monocyte to macrophage transition in a normally-healing wound. Ultimately, Dr. Albina’s lab hopes to use what they learn from the sterile wound environment to better understand how the healing process is altered under pathologic conditions such as infection.