Prof. Ronen Alon, Department of Immunology
Circulating immune cells must exit blood vessels near specific target sites of injury, inflammation, or tissue repair. Using special flow chambers that simulate blood flow and intravital microscopy in genetically manipulated mice, Prof. Alon and his team are investigating how both endothelial and perivascular trafficking molecules promote context- and tissue- selective immune cell exit through distinct blood vessels. They also study how chemotactic and antigenic signals induce the stoppage of lymphocytes on dendritic cells and macrophages.
One of his lines of research focuses on smoking, COPD, and lung cancer. Smoking is the major cause of obstructive airway diseases commonly termed COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases) and a major risk for lung cancers. The major aim of this project is to identify key risk factors for COPD and the trafficking and co-stimulatory molecules used by inflammatory leukocytes recruited to the lungs. Such molecules can be promising targets for anti-inflammation therapy for smokers.