Center for Innate Immunity and Immune Disease, Department of Immunology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington, USA.
Dr. Michael Gale, Jr. is a Professor of Immunology and the Director of the Center for Innate Immunity and Immune Disease at the University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA, USA. His research is focused on understanding the molecular basis of nonself recognition and immune programming for protection against RNA virus infection.
Innate immune defenses are essential for restricting virus replication and for programming the adaptive immune response against infection. Studies in the Gale laboratory are focused on defining the pathogen recognition receptor interactions and signaling events triggered by viral pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) to drive innate antiviral immunity and program/enhance the adaptive immune response to RNA virus infection and vaccination. This work has defined the RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs), including RIG-I, MDA5, and LGP2, and their responsive gene networks as critical factors in the recognition of RNA virus infection and immune protection against infection and disease. The lab is engaged in defining the nature of RNA PAMPs that are physically recognized by the different RLRs, and is focused on determining how the RLR/PAMP interaction serves to trigger innate antiviral immunity and to program the adaptive immune response to RNA virus infection, including emerging viruses like West Nile virus and Zika virus. The lab is applying the principles of PAMP/RIG-I interactions to target RIG-I and RLR signaling through small molecule therapeutics aimed at suppressing virus infection through robust induction of innate antiviral immunity, and to serve as vaccine adjuvants to enhance the immune response to vaccination for lasting protection against emerging RNA virus infection.
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