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Welcome to the Hawiger Lab

Research Specialty: INFLAMMATION

The primary focus of my laboratory at Vanderbilt is inflammation, a biological response that links innate and adaptive immunity to blood kinins and coagulation networks.

Inflammation comes from the Latin word "Inflammatio" which means to set on fire. It is ironic that this protective response to remove harmful stimuli from the body in order to initiate healing is also the main mechanism of diseases caused by microbial, autoimmune, metabolic, and physical factors. In fact, approximately 80% of all major human diseases, including heart attacks, strokes, sepsis, and early cancer, are mediated by inflammation.

Proinflammatory cues are sensed by pattern recognition receptors such as Toll-like Receptors (TLRs) that are mainstays of innate immunity. These receptors generate signals that are transduced to the nucleus by an intricate network of intracellular adaptors. We study two families of these adaptors as potential targets for anti-inflammatory therapy to prevent reprogramming of the genome toward proinflammatory phenotype.