Inflammation, a complex pathophysiological process, plays an important role in numerous responses to pathogens and stimuli in the animal body, and it is central to many diseases including cardiovascular diseases, colitis, arthritis and dermatitis. In addition, inflammation plays a crucial role in the microenvironment of tumors where inflammatory signals mediate the proliferation, survival and migration of cancer cells.
Due to these diverse roles of inflammation in such a wide array of diseases, identifying novel targets in inflammatory signaling cascades and understanding how inflammatory mediators contribute to disease development is a major biomedical research goal that will support the development of novel anti-inflammatory drugs.
Using a variety of state-of-the-art cellular, molecular, genetic, pharmacological and imaging approaches, members of the department study various aspects of inflammation including its role in the tumor microenvironment and the signaling mechanisms induced by pro-inflammatory cytokines.
Members of the Department of Animal Biology who study inflammation also contribute to and collaborate with various centers and research institutes, including the Mari Lowe Center for Comparative Oncology.