The research in my laboratory includes the following areas:
Trophoblast Biology. Trophoblast response and regulation to inflammatory responses.
Our previous work has demonstrated the expression of Toll-like receptors on trophoblast cells and ligation of these receptors produce a cytokine/chemokine network in response to either endogenous or exogenous stimuli at the maternal fetal interface. Therefore trophoblast cells serve as sensors for the recognition and response to the environment throughout implantation and gestation, suggesting that the trophoblast itself might act as an innate immune cell by recognizing microbial products. We currently are investigating the tight regulation of TLR function and signaling in trophoblast and how this contributes to their immunological role.
Immune cells regulation and function at the maternal/fetal interface. Maternal/fetal macrophages role in tolerance to bacterial infections, and response to persistent viral infections.
In recognizing and responding to the uterine microenvironment trophoblast may recruit immune cells, such as macrophages, and regulate their distribution and function. We are currently investigating how trophoblast cells induce differentiation of macrophages into a pregnancy-supporting phenotype and how this phenotype is associated with a tolerant response to bacteria to prevent an inflammatory response.
Infection in Pregnancy. Mechanisms of immune, placental, and decidual responses to pathogens leading to preterm labor. In vivo model of preterm in polymicrobial disease
Dr. Mor’s laboratory is actively investigating how viral infection may disrupt the fetal-maternal interaction by modifying the function of TLRs Our studies have shown that a viral infection of the placenta and decidua will lead to a disruption in immune cell distribution and function and consequently preterm labor. To further understand the role of infection in pregnancy we have developed an in vivo model looking at the mechanisms in polymicrobial disease at the maternal/fetal interface and preterm labor.
Tumor Immunology. Mechanisms of immune surveillance, macrophage differentiation and novel therapies to overcome tumor immune tolerance