Role of PI3-kinase family in phagocytosis and phagosome maturation

Successful host defense against microorganisms relies heavily upon a population of immune cells called macrophages. These cells are capable of ingesting and destroying pathogens such as bacteria and yeasts. Jimmy Lee’s research will investigate the cellular mechanisms involved when macrophages ingest and destroy pathogens. Specifically, he is studying a protein family called PI(3)K, which is responsible for activating many cellular activities and is believed to enable macrophages to ingest microorganisms. He aims to identify the specific PI(3)K protein involved in this process. This research will increase the understanding of how the body responds to infection and may lead to the design of specific therapeutic approaches to fight infections.