Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Medzhitov, Ruslan
Location Yale University
Primary Field Immunology and Inflammation
Secondary Field Medical Genetics, Hematology and Oncology
 Election Citation
Medzhitov discovered and characterized the function of Toll-like receptors in the mammalian immune system. He defined critical mechanisms of Toll-like receptor-mediated signaling, gene induction, and inflammatory responses, and characterized the role of the innate immune system in regulation of adaptive immune responses.
 Research Interests
My main research interests are focused on regulation of immune and inflammatory responses. Inflammation can be initiated by a variety of noxious conditions, including infections, cellular stress and tissue damage. We are investigating how these diverse insults are sensed by different types of sentinel cells and how the ensuing inflammatory responses are regulated to optimize host defense. We address these questions in a broader context of cell communication and regulation of homeostasis. I am also interested in mechanisms and outcomes of host-microbial interactions, both in the context of overt infections and in the context normal homeostatic interactions with myriads of microbes that colonize our bodies. The language of host-microbial interactions is only partially deciphered, in that we now understand the basics of how the innate immune system can sense the colonizing microbes through a set of dedicated pattern recognition receptors. We are now interested in other types of signals involved in host-microbial communication which affect many aspects of host physiology but remain poorly characterized. Finally, we are interested in physiologic and epigenetic mechanisms of environmental adaptations and their impact on human diseases.

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