Metabolic Regulation of MicroRNA-Controlled Immunity in Atherosclerosis Cardiovascular Disease

Our laboratory explores a new paradigm in cell biology research to gain insights into the influence of metabolic stress on accelerated cardiovascular disease.

A common point of convergence for our studies centers on the metabolic control of immune cell activation via microRNA dysregulation and their regulated release into exosome as a source of extracellular communication.

Our primary area of interest is to study how a protein called apolipoprotein E (ApoE) impacts on microRNA-controlled hematopoiesis and mature immune cell function to suppress the progression of atherosclerosis and promote its regression beyond its well-known ability to reduce plasma lipid levels. Our second topic of research explores how diabetic hyperglycemia contributes to alter microRNA biogenesis and their regulated release into exosomes to impact on immunity to accelerate the progression of atherosclerosis and impair its regression in response to plasma lipid reduction.

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Our projects are highly collegial and are performed in close collaboration with numerous colleagues at UCSF and outside institutions. Our laboratory offers training opportunities in broad areas of atherosclerosis research ranging from fundamental aspects of lipoprotein metabolism to microRNA-controlled immunity and extracellular RNA communication in atherosclerosis.

Newer research topics under development in the laboratory center on exploring the impact of microRNA-controlled immunity in the pathogenesis of:

1) Chronic heart failure following ischemic myocardial infarction

2) Adipose tissue expansion and obesity