Inflammation underlies a variety of human diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, arthritis and cancer. Together, these diseases constitute a major challenge to the well being of modern human society. Understanding the fundamental mechanisms of inflammation may provide rationales for designing novel interventions to treat these maladies. Autoinflammatory diseases are an emerging family of illness, characterized by dysregulation of innate immune responses. Studies of these hereditary human disorders have provided invaluable insight into basic cellular and molecular mechanisms of the innate immune responses and have contributed significantly to the development of targeted therapies for common human inflammatory diseases such as arthritis. My long term goal is to understand the pathophysiological mechanisms of autoinflammatory diseases and to apply knowledge from such studies to develop novel treatment of inflammatory human diseases. Our recent studies of one of such diseases, namely mevalonate kinase deficiency, has allowed us to unravel the unexpected connection between the cholesterol-biosynthesis mevalonate pathway and toll like receptor (TLR)-mediated phosphatidyl inosital 3(PI3)-kinase signaling. These exciting new discoveries will greatly advance our knowledge of innate immune signaling and may provide clues for new interventions of a variety of human diseases.
Education and Training
- Ph.D., Sun Yat Sen University (China), 2004