Dave Clarke (BE postdoctoral, Lauffenburger Lab)
Quantitative mapping of the hepatic acute phase response
The acute phase response is the initial set of reactions that promote homeostasis in response to inflammatory stimuli such as injury or infection. The liver plays a major role in the acute phase response because it synthesizes and secretes acute phase proteins, which travel via the blood to the site of inflammation and serve to isolate the damaged tissue and promote repair. Cytokines, such as IL-6 and IL-1, and glucocorticoid hormones are the principal cues that prompt hepatocytes to switch their metabolism to emphasize acute phase protein synthesis. Aspects of the molecular network through which these extracellular cues act have been studied in isolation but an integrative systems biology view of this network is lacking. My project therefore seeks to quantitatively map the molecular network underlying hepatic acute phase protein secretion.