About us

Our interests are aimed at exploring the biology and importance of the innate immune response for combating viral infection. Innate immunity is induced by pattern recognition receptor-mediated detection of molecular indicators of proliferative threats such as microbial pathogens and transformed cells. cGAS is a receptor that reacts with cytosolic DNA after which it triggers type I interferon and proinflammatory responses via the protein STING. This leads to establishment of localized tissue states refractory to microbial replication and also the activation of antigen presenting cells that drive adaptive responses including antibody and cytotoxic T cell activity. The cGAS-STING pathway thus plays active and essential roles in immune-mediated protection against viral and bacterial infection as well as tumor cells. Our work aims to understand the molecular and cellular bases of the interface between cGAS-STING and the adaptive immune response. In addition, we are investigating novel pharmacologic ways of activating cGAS-STING to facilitate vaccine function and generate potent antigen-directed immune responses against viral infection and cancers.