Lymphatic vessels are required for the de novo activation of adaptive immune responses following peripheral challenge (Lund et al., JCI 2016) but also exhibit unique immunosuppressive properties that may limit in situ immune responses (Lund et al., Cell Reports 2012), (Hirosue et al., JI 2014). Inflammation-induced remodeling of the lymphatic vasculature alters its transport properties and is associated with a variety of pathologies from chronic inflammation to malignancy (Lund et al., Cancer Discovery 2016) and yet a more fundamental understanding for the basic immunobiology of the lymphatic vasculature is lacking. How do lymphatic vessels integrate inflammatory cues to initiate unique functional programs that regulate fluid and cellular transport from peripheral tissues? What are the immunological consequences (systemically and locally) of altered lymphatic vessel function? What role do lymphatic vessels play in late stage inflammation/immunity when de novo priming has already occurred? Is the status of the lymphatic vasculature useful for risk stratification in melanoma? (Lund, TRENDS 2016) Current projects in the Lund Lab integrate tissue biology, immunology, and clinical dermatology to investigate the immunological properties of cutaneous lymphatic vessels.

  1. Lymphatic Vessel Regulation of Tissue Immunity in Melanoma
    • Evaluating the cutaneous lymphatic vessel response to local T cell inflammation and mechanisms of regulatory feedback.
    • Determining mechanisms of T cell egress from cutaneous malignancies and impact on local immunity.
  2. Lymphatic Vessel Response to Acute Viral Infection/Oncolytic Viral Therapy
    • Understanding the role of lymphatic vessels in regulating antigen transport and viral dissemination from infected tissue.
    • Type I interferon responses and lymphatic vessel function.
  3. Lymphatic Vessels as an Immunological Biomarker for Melanoma 
    • Analysis of human primary melanomas utilizing novel multiplexed imaging platform to map tumor microenvironments for risk assessment.
    • Developing novel image analysis workflows to evaluate spatio-temporal relationships within the inflamed tumor microenvironment.