Development of new methods for gene knockdown and study in vivo
To study the role of interesting genes (such as the alpha(v) integrins) in different cell-types, we need to be able to manipulate gene expression in cells and in mice. We are developing a number of different strategies to do this. By using conditional targeting or the generation of genetically modified macrophages and DCs from stem cells, we can investigate the role that apoptotic cell receptors play in immune processes. We are also developing methods for quick delivery or knockout of genes in immune cells in vivo using new methods such as translocation proteins, retroviruses and RNAi. Our plan is to apply the lessons learned from studies on isolated cells or model organisms back to whole organisms and eventually address clinical problems such as chronic inflammation and autoimmunity.