Mitochondrial Control of Innate Immunity
Mitochondria are multi-faceted organelles integral to many processes including energy generation, programmed cell death, signal transduction, and immunity. Consequently, mitochondrial stress can drastically alter cell and tissue function and is increasingly implicated in aging, cardiovascular disease, neurodegeneration, cancer, and autoimmunity. Research in the West lab centers on defining how mitochondria regulate immune and inflammatory processes to influence human health and disease. The lab is particularly interested in characterizing how mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) stress and instability is sensed by the cGAS-STING DNA recognition machinery. Moreover, they aim to understand how the chronic engagement of this pathway sustains damaging inflammatory responses in multiple disease states.
In this seminar, Dr. West will discuss new mechanistic insight into mtDNA sensing by the innate immune system, and he will highlight his ongoing work to elucidate how the mtDNA-cGAS-STING signaling axis contributes to off-target inflammation and cardiotoxicity following anthracycline chemotherapeutic exposure.