Laurie Erb, PhD

Associate Research Professor

University of Missouri – Columbia (MU)

The general mission of our laboratory is to understand how tissue damage or disease causes the body to mount an inflammatory response. The current prevailing hypothesis is that an inflammatory response does not occur solely in response to foreign or non-self molecules but, also, in response to self molecules released from damaged tissue. Over the last decade, nucleotides have been recognized as a class of danger signals that are released from damaged tissue and their cell surface receptors (P2 receptors) have emerged as key players in the process of inflammation. Our lab examines the function of P2 receptors to better understand how nucleotides influence inflammation and wound healing. This understanding could identify intervention points for selectively controlling inflammatory responses, leading to new treatments for inflammatory disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, atherosclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.