Phagocyte Interactions with Oral Microbes

JASON KAY, PhD personal profile

We study phagocytosis, the process where cells take up relatively large (> 0.5 um) particles. Phagocytosis is an essential tool of the innate immune system, where professional phagocytes (Neutrophils, Macrophages and Dendritic cells) engulf and destroy pathogens, then can degrade the pathogens and present antigens to cells involved in adaptive immunity. We are investigating the mechanisms of interactions of oral microbes with host immune cells, such as the mechanisms of binding and uptake of microbes, both commensal (normally harmless) and pathogenic, by both neutrophils and macrophages. We are also investigating the basic machinery of phagocytic maturation to better understand the genes and molecules important in the maturation process of itself.

Dr. Kay’s Additional Research