ABOUT MY RESEARCH

I am Assistant Professor of Nutrition in the College of Health Sciences at the University of Memphis. My current research focuses on aging in the immune system. Specifically, I am interested in the role of immunometabolic changes during aging, and how they affect the inflammatory and cellular functions on monocytes and macrophages. My research is currently supported by the American Heart Association, the American College of Sports Medicine, the University of Washington Nathan Shock Center, and internal awards from the University of Memphis.

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Updated 12 July 2021

RESEARCH TECHNIQUES

RESEARCH INTERESTS

AGING AND IMMUNOMETABOLISM

My principal research line focuses on how aging impacts cellular metabolism and mitochondrial function in monocytes and macrophages.

LIVE-CELL METABOLISM

My laboratory extensively uses live-cell analysis platforms such as Agilent's Seahorse system to profile immunometabolism in real-time.

INFLAMMAGING AND IMMUNOSENESCENCE

An ongoing research interest is in defining the mechanistic links between age-associated inflammatory state (inflammaging) and age-associated impairments in innate immune function (immunosenescence).

EXERCISE AND NUTRITIONAL IMMUNOLOGY

My doctoral and postdoctoral research focused on the impacts of exercise and nutrition on the immune system. Currently I am investigating the role of plant-derived polyphenols on modulating immune cell metabolism.

IMMUNOMETABOLIC REGULATION OF ATHEROSCLEROSIS

My laboratory is actively examining the impacts of atherosclerosis-associated biomolecules on inflammation-associated metabolic changes in macrophages.

FLOW CYTOMETRY

My research program includes regular use of flow cytometry for profiling immune cell phenotype, as well as cellular functions such as phagocytosis and reactive oxygen species production.

FLUORESCENCE MICROSCOPY

My laboratory uses state-of-the-art confocal and live-cell fluorescence microscopy systems to profile immune cell function and metabolism. A recent example includes confocal imaging of mitochondrial morphology (see header image).

MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND BIOCHEMISTRY

My research benefits from the laboratory facilities at the University of Memphis, which allow us to perform a variety of modern molecular biology techniques using cultured primary cells and cell lines, as well as routine assays such as ELISAs and western blotting.

INNATE IMMUNITY AND COVID-19

My laboratory is actively examining the mechanisms by which SARS-CoV-2 causes hyperinflammation in severe COVID-19. This includes collaborations at the local BSL-3 laboratories at the Regional Biocontainment Laboratory at UTHSC, where we work with live pathogenic SARS-CoV-2.

FUNDING

AMERICAN COLLEGE OF SPORTS MEDICINE

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AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION

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SCHOOL OF HEALTH STUDIES

UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS

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NATHAN SHOCK CENTER
UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON

FEDEX INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS