The Simon laboratory studies the innate immune mechanisms governing inflammation and infection. Our laboratory develops technologies to delve the force and molecular dynamics by which neutrophils and monocytes recruit to inflamed endothelium and respond to tissue insult. Imaging technologies are developed to delve the multistep sequence by which leukocytes roll-arrest and transmigrate to a site of acute inflammatory tissue insult. Our strategy is to mimic the hydrodynamic shear, chemokine gradients, and adhesion molecule presentation using recombinant protein substrates and endothelial monolayers in microfluidic based lab-on-a-chip devices that enable experiments to be performed in reduced systems accessible to real-time observation.
We are currently studying the neutrophil response to acute inflammatory stimuli and also Staphylococcus aureus bacterial infection that governs the innate immune response. Primary goals are to not only develop translatable strategies to overcome the intractable problem of antibiotic resistant S. aureus skin infections in immunodeficient subjects, but also train bioengineer and immunological scientists in requisite skills.
We have trained dozens of diverse Ph.D. graduates over the past two decades. We foster an inclusive and supportive environment for acquiring skills to pursue successful careers in academics or industry. Through weekly lab meetings and one on one training at the bench, we provide rigorous biomedical training. A hierarchical approach in which postdocs and senior graduate students take on responsibilities of working with newer graduate and undergraduate trainees facilitates a robust learning and working experience.