Research InterestsThe Rosenzweig Lab has a broad interest in the study of inflammatory disease. Although inflammation is essential for host defense against infection, its dysregulation contributes to a variety of inflammatory and/or autoimmune disorders. We are interested in how host defense mechanisms triggered by pathogenic microorganisms result in chronic inflammatory diseases such as uveitis (intra-ocular inflammatory disease) or arthritis. Specifically, we are interested in the mechanistic role of innate immune receptors such as the NOD-like receptors (NLRs) and the C-type lectin receptors (CLRs) in the orchestration of adaptive and autoimmune responses involved in disease. Understanding how NLRs such as NOD2 are a major cause of disease is important because NOD2 is the genetic cause of Blau syndrome (an inflammatory disease that manifests as uveitis, arthritis, and dermatitis). NOD2 is also a major genetic susceptibility factor in many other complex, inflammatory diseases including Crohn’s disease. Clinical issues of interest include uveitis, arthritis, autoimmune disease, autoinflammatory disease, and inflammation. Current studies focus on animal models of uveitis and arthritis that are driven by microbial triggers or an induced autoimmune response. Several approaches that include analysis of genetically modified mutant mice, molecular and cellular studies are used to elucidate the inflammatory mechanisms involved disease. The lab has a broach interest in the application of cutting edge technology to study disease-relevant issues including near-infrared (NIR) imaging of arthritis (Figure 1), live intravital videomicroscopy imaging of on-going cell trafficking responses in vivo (Figure 2), and topical endoscopy fundus imaging (TEFI) of the retina (Figure 3).
Financial Support: National Eye Institute at National Institutes of Health; the Department of Veterans Affairs Laboratory Research and Development Service, and support from Research to Prevent Blindness Foundation.