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.
Our graduate students Amanda Evans & Jack Blackburn recently presented abstract at the Annual McGill Biomedical Graduate Conference, in Montreal Quebec. In addition, both Amanda and Jack won MNI Travel Awards to attend this conference.
Azizi PM, Zyla RE, Guan S, Wang C, Liu J, Bolz SS, Heit B, Klip A, Lee WL. Clathrin-dependent entry and vesicle-mediated exocytosis define insulin transcytosis across microvascular endothelial cells. Mol Biol Cell. 2015 Feb 15;26(4):740-50. PMID: 25540431
We, along with our collaborators, have recently published a new study! This study, currently in press at Molecular Biology of the Cell, investigates the processes in which insulin crosses the blood vessels in order to mediate its activities in our tissues.
Azizi PM, Zyla RE, Guan S, Wang C, Liu J, Bolz SS, Heit B, Klip A, Lee WL. Clathrin-dependent entry and vesicle-mediated exocytosis define insulin transcytosis across microvascular endothelial cells. Mol Biol Cell. 2014 Dec 24. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 25540431
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.