We are interested in cell autonomous innate immunity, i.e. in the ability of individual cells to defend themselves against infection.
Cytosolic defence against bacterial invasion
The mammalian cytosol is rich in nutrients but can be colonized by specialized bacteria only. We therefore wish to understand i) how cells succeed in defending their cytosol against most invasion attempts and ii) how professional cytosol dwelling bacteria outwit cellular defences. We are particularly interested in danger receptors that detect breaches in cellular integrity, and in the ubiquitin system that marks invading bacteria as cargo for autophagy receptors.
Regulation of NF-κB and IRF signalling
The defence against pathogens requires profound changes in gene expression that are coordinated by latent transcription factors of the NF-kB and IRF families. We aim to understand how infection activates NF-κB and IRF signalling.
Somatic cell genetics
The genetic analysis of somatic cell lines holds significant potential for our understanding of signal transduction and other cell autonomous traits. We use haploid cells, CRISPR technology, and chemical mutagenesis to isolate genes governing the interaction between pathogens and host cells.