Welcome! You have reached the homepage of the laboratory of Dr. Bryan Heit. Our lab is part of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Western University, and we are members of the Center for Human Immunology, the lead centre for the CIHR Human Immunology Network.
Our interests surround the function of phagocytes – white blood cells which ingest (phagocytose) pathogens, particles, and dead cells. We focus on the cellular and molecular processes which control the function of these cells during the maintenance of homeostasis, during infection and during chronic inflammatory disease. Central to most of our studies is the study of efferoctyosis – the phagocytic removal of apoptotic (dying) cells, and how failures in this process lead to inflammation, autoimmunity and infection.
We, along with several of our collaborators, recently had a paper accepted for publication which will appear soon in the journal Molecular Biology of the Cell in the very near future. This study investigates the mechanisms by which the diffusion of Fractalkine (a protein which regulates inter-cellular communication) is controlled, and how this control over fractalkine diffusion is used to regulate its cleavage and release from a cell. This study provides mechanistic insights into how this protein functions both as a signal between neighbouring cells versus between distantly located cells.
Wong HS, Jaumouillé V, Heit B, Doodnauth SA, Patel S, Huang YW, Grinstein S, Robinson LA. Cytoskeletal confinement of CX3CL1 limits its susceptibility to proteolytic cleavage by ADAM10. Mol Biol Cell. 2014 Sep 24. pii: mbc.E13-11-0633. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 25253723.
Next week the department of Microbiology & Immunology is hosting our 2014 REG Murray Lecturer, Dr. Stephen Goff of Columbia University.
Next week the department of Microbiology & Immunology is hosting our 2013 REG Murray Lecturer, Dr. Patrick Keeling.
The Heit lab will have openings for one or two new Graduate Students to start in April 2014 or September 2014. Applicants with a background in cell biology, biochemistry or immunology are preferred. Prior research experience is strongly recommended.
2) E-mail Dr. Heit with a CV, full undergraduate transcripts and contact information for 2 references.