Cell Death and Inflammatory Signalling
Research Group Head
The Cell Death and Inflammatory Signalling group aims to identify new molecules that regulate cell death and inflammatory signalling. We also seek to establish whether cell death signalling can be inhibited therapeutically to treat inflammatory disease or triggered to promote antimicrobial responses.
Dr Lawlor and her team investigate the cross-talk between programmed cell death and inflammatory signalling pathways in disease. In particular, the laboratory studies how cell death induces activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome. Inflammasomes activate pro-inflammatory proteins Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and IL-18 and induce a lytic form of cell death, called pyroptosis. This activity is critical for clearance of microbial organisms by the immune system. However, excess IL-1β activity can exacerbate rare hereditary autoinflammatory syndromes and common diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, type 2 diabetes and cancer.
The Lawlor group utilise a range of cellular and molecular biology methods and preclinical disease models.