Dynamic Metabolic reprogramming in immune cells
In response to different environmental cues, macrophages develop specific phenotypes and cellular functions. The ability to appropriately assume different phenotypical states is critical for immune function. We are interested in understanding (1) how macrophage metabolism is dynamically regulated during the phenotypical switches as cells respond to specific signals (2) the mechanisms driving this metabolic remodeling and (3) how altered metabolism orchestrates immune function and inflammatory state.
Metabolic adaptation to microenvironment in cancer cells
As a result of insufficient perfusion and altered metabolic activities, the microenvironment of solid tumors is characterized by regions of hypoxia, low extracellular pH, and nutrient depletion. This unique chemical environment plays an important role in shaping the metabolism and properties of cancer cells. Additionally, other non-malignant cells, such as immune cells, and the extracellular matrix in the tumor microenvironment also significantly impact tumor metabolism and progression. We seek to understand how cancer cell metabolism is rewired in response to environmental stress, in particular, acidosis. We aim to elucidate how this metabolic rewiring allows cells to adapt to the specific environment, and leads to changes in cellular properties such as migration potential or chemoresistance. We are also interested in investigate how immune cells in the tumor microenvironment interact with cancer cells and affect tumor progression.