Further insight into immune cell activation

2014 NHMRC/RG Menzies Scholar in Medicine, Dr Si Ming Man, has continued his outstanding publishing record with another important paper on activating danger-sensing proteins in cells, published in journal Cell.

Si Ming is half way through his fellowship and is part of the research team at St Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

The paper he and his fellow scientists have published, shows how bacterial molecules from disease-causing bacteria are liberated and sensed by immune cells. This process allows immune cells to become activated in order to fight the infection.

The researchers at St. Jude’s have discovered the way signals from infectious bacteria gain entry into the cytoplasm of host cells to activate disease-fighting inflammasomes. The St Jude’s press release can be read here.

Dr Man and his team say the findings could help scientists find new ways to design drugs or vaccines to combat bacterial infections.

Photo courtesy of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital / Peter Barta.