Welcome! You have reached the homepage for 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, infection and 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.
Phagocytes are a class of white blood cells which have the capacity to engulf large particles such as bacterial and fungal pathogens, and subsequently destroy the engulfed material. The term phagocyte literally translates to “cell that eats”, which is an apt description of the primary function of these cells in our bodies. While there are many types of phagocytes, the Heit lab focuses primarily on macrophages, which play key roles in both maintaining our bodies and in fighting infections.
Another week, another successful thesis defence. Congratulations Amanda on a successful thesis defence.
The Heit lab is excited to announce that Jack Blackburn successfully defended his MSc thesis! Good job Jack!
Elie Metchnikoff discovered phagocytosis in 1883, a discovery for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1908. Today, 108 years later, we continue his work.
The Heit lab is currently looking to fill three positions, suitable for graduate students or post-doctoral fellows. Trainees in these positions will develop an in-depth knowledge of immunology, cell biology and inflammation, and will gain technical expertise in molecular and cellular biology, immune assays and advanced microscopy.
The available projects cover a broad range of immunological topics, including:
Applications should be made directly to Dr. Heit. Please note that I will not reply to applicants who have not met the following requirements:
Students/PDFs holding independent funding are preferred, but not required.