Gene Discovery Reveals New Targets for Treating Atherosclerosis, Inflammation

March 18, 2019 by

We would like to extend a huge congrats to Dr. Kodi Ravichandran (PSTG Preceptor and Chair of Microbiology) and his team of researchers for their new exciting discovery! He and his team have sucessfully blocked ELMO1 in lab mice and by doing so it stopped arthritis inflammation without causing other problems. Please follow NBC29 for the full story.

Sho Morioka (from left), Justin Perry and Kodi Ravichandran have identified a group of genes that could play critical roles in atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), inflammation, and likely obesity and other metabolic diseases.

Two postdoctoral fellows in the Ravichandran laboratory, Sho Morioka and Justin Perry, and their collaborators – including researchers across UVA and beyond – identified a group of 33 SLC genes that help direct how the body disposes of its dying cells.

“We turn over about 200 billion cells a day in the body as part of routine healthy living. Imagine this as your daily house cleaning – absolutely essential. Importantly, we do not want the dead trash to induce inflammation,” Ravichandran explained. “So the system has designed a beautiful way to consistently remove our own cellular trash, and also simultaneously suppress the inflammation against our own cellular debris. And to achieve this, the cells talk to each other about how they are recognizing each other, what they need to eat, and how the neighboring cells should behave afterwards.”

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