Doyle, Catherine (Desai)
Every day, cells die throughout the body by a variety of mechanisms: damage, infection, or merely aging. Macrophages must then “eat” away dead cells from tissues using a process called phagocytosis. Subsequently, the macrophage must decide if the phagocytosed cargo should signal an inflammatory response or not. Dysregulation of this process may underlie both auto-immune and age-related diseases. I am interested in how ion channels regulate the formation and maturation of the phagosome in macrophages and how they affect subsequent signaling following cargo ingestion. In particular, I study the channel TRPM7 and how it modulates calcium and zinc fluctuations during phagosome maturation.