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David Underhill, PhD

Associate Director, Division of Immunology Research

Director, Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences and Translational Medicine

Janis and William Wetsman Family Chair in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Professor, Medicine

Professor, Biomedical Sciences

David Underhill, PhD

Associate Director, Division of Immunology Research

Director, Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences and Translational Medicine

Janis and William Wetsman Family Chair in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Professor, Medicine

Professor, Biomedical Sciences

The research of David Underhill, PhD, focuses on the molecular mechanisms by which blood phagocytes such as macrophages and dendritic cells recognize microbial pathogens and initiate inflammatory responses. A central question in immunology is to understand how inflammatory responses become tailored to specific microbial infections, and we hypothesize that phagocytosis, the process by which these cells eat foreign microbes, is a key part of this. The Underhill Laboratory has used coordinated recognition of fungal pathogens by the C-type lectin receptor Dectin-1, and the Toll-like receptor TLR2 as a model for defining how different innate immune receptors can work together to orchestrate very specific inflammatory responses. Underhill and his lab members are in hopes to understand how macrophages and dendritic cells translate recognition of microbes into inflammatory responses will lead to the design of targeted interventions to clinically manipulate these processes.

  • Established Investigator, American Heart Association, 2006
  • Goodridge HS, Reyes CN, Becker CA, Katsumoto TR, Ma J, Wolf AJ, Bose N, Chan AS, Magee AS, Danielson ME, Weiss A, Vasilakos JP, Underhill DM. Activation of the innate immune receptor Dectin-1 upon formation of a 'phagocytic synapse'. Nature. 2011 Apr 28;472(7344):471-475.
  • Iliev ID, Funari VA, Taylor KD, Nguyen Q, Reyes CN, Strom SP, Brown J, Becker CA, Fleshner PR, Dubinsky M, Rotter JI, Wang HL, McGovern DP, Brown GD, Underhill DM. Interactions between commensal fungi and the C-type lectin receptor Dectin-1 influence colitis. Science. 2012 Jun 8;336(6086):1314-1317.
  • Shimada K, Crother TR, Karlin J, Dagvadorj J, Chiba N, Chen S, Ramanujan VK, Wolf AJ, Vergnes L, Ojcius DM, Rentsendorj A, Vargas M, Guerrero C, Wang Y, Fitzgerald KA, Underhill DM, Town T, Arditi M. Oxidized mitochondrial DNA activates the NLRP3 inflammasome during apoptosis. Immunity. 2012 Mar 23;36(3):401-414.
  • Shimada T, Park BG, Wolf AJ, Brikos C, Goodridge HS, Becker CA, Reyes CN, Miao EA, Aderem A, Götz F, Liu GY, Underhill DM. Staphylococcus aureus evades lysozyme-based peptidoglycan digestion that links phagocytosis, inflammasome activation, and IL-1beta secretion. Cell Host Microbe. 2010 Jan 21;7(1):38-49.
  • Underhill DM, Goodridge HS. Information processing during phagocytosis. Nat Rev Immunol. 2012 Jun 15;12(7):492-502.
  • Wolf AJ, Arruda A, Reyes CN, Kaplan AT, Shimada T, Shimada K, Arditi M, Liu G, Underhill DM. Phagosomal degradation increases TLR access to bacterial ligands and enhances macrophage sensitivity to bacteria. J Immunol. 2011 Dec 1;187(11):6002-6010.

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