Research Summary Immunological synapses are stable T cell-antigen presenting cell junctions that are mediated by bona fide adhesion molecules and lead to vector communication. Immunological synapses are maintained by symmetrical centripetal actin flow within the T cell in the in the plane of the contact with the antigen presenting cell. If this symmetry is broken the T cell initiates migration, but can still gather information though a kinapse, a mobile cell-cell junction mediated by adhesion molecules based on retrograde actin flow in the plane of contact with the antigen presenting cell.
We also study the process of immune cell communication in vivo. Topics include regulation of T cell migration in lymph nodes and the spleen by antigen recognition, the regulation of innate T cell lipid recognition in the liver, the competition between B cells in Germinal Centers that leads to high affinity antibody production, immune cell interactions within the central nervous system and gut.
Research Interests Cell adhesion, T cell activation, immunological synapse, immune cell migration, microscopy