Hematology and Atherosclerosis/ Hematología y Arteriosclerosis
My current research focus is to uncover novel roles for the Triggering Receptors Expressed in Myeloid cells (TREM) family. TREM receptors are a family of cell surface molecules with shared homology that fine-tunes inflammation, bone homeostasis, neurological development and hemostasis. During my PhD training, I characterized the role of Treml1 in atherosclerosis progression using mouse models and human samples. We found that while Treml1 influences atherosclerotic lesion formation by controlling platelet reactivity, Treml1 deficient mice display an aberrant lipid blood profile under high fat diet conditions. This finding suggest that Treml1 has an underlying role in lipid metabolism, an observation that mirrors other members of this receptor family.
Innate Immunity and Lipids Immunometabolism/Inmunología Inata y Inmunometabolismo de lípidos
I also characterized an animal model for another TREM family member, Treml4. We found the Treml4 controls atherosclerosis lesion development by sustaining inflammation in lesion-related macrophages. We have also uncovered novel roles for this receptor in lipid management, metabolism and liver disease. Currently, I am investigating the role of Trem2, an important receptor in Alzheimer’s disease, in the immunometabolism of activated macrophages.
Immunometabolism, meaning the changes in intracellular metabolic pathways in immune cells that alters their function, is a promising growing field that can potentially allow small-molecule targeting of metabolic pathways for therapeutic intervention.
In addition to my work in the TREM receptor family, I have also collaborated in several Immunometabolism projects aimed to understand the reprogramming of activated immune cells.