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"Engineering the Innate Immune Response to Infection"
Scott Simon, PhD
University of California, Davis
Polymorphonuclear (PMN) leukocytes are critical in the innate immune response against pathogens. The most frequent cause of non-healing skin wounds and infectious arthritis is due to Staphylococcus aureus (SA) infections. In particular, PMN recruitment and abscess formation is a hallmark of these infections and is required for bacterial clearance. Recent published data from our laboratory indicates that strategic manipulation of the inflammatory response of PMN at the site of a cutaneous wound can suppress infection and improve the efficiency of non-scar healing. These studies employed non-invasive whole animal fluorescence imaging of genetically tagged EGFPPMN mice, which provide a real-time multiparameter readout of the dynamic changes in PMN recruitment and lifetime, SA burden, and wound closure. A novel finding is that PMN and hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSPC) recruitment and function in the abscess can be engineered to optimize clearance of microbial infections and prevent aberrant inflammation that delays normal tissue healing. This seminar will discuss a bioengineering systems approach to guide the innate immune response for improving resolution of a persistent SA infection in a mouse model of tissue injury.