The researchers focused on the dynamics of a key signaling molecule in immune cells called macrophages (pictured here).
“Like a soldier or an athlete, innate immune cells can be trained by past experiences to become better at fighting infections,” said lead author Quen Cheng, an assistant clinical professor of infectious diseases at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine. However, he noted, the researchers had previously observed that some experiences seemed to be better than others for immune training. “This surprising finding motivated us to better understand the rules that govern this process.”
Read the full UCLA press release.
Cheng is continuing this research as a CTSI KL2 scholar under the mentorship of senior author, Dr. Alexander Hoffman, as well as Dr. Scott Filler at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and Dr. Otto Yang at UCLA.
The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the UCLA department of medicine’s specialty training and advanced research (STAR) program. Cheng received salary support from CTSI during the study period through his 2020 CTSI KL2 Scholar Award.