- Paulus Mrass
Inflammation is a protective biological response against pathogens and other harmful stimuli. Nevertheless, excessive or inappropriate inflammation can exacerbate or cause various diseases, such as infection, autoimmunity and cancer. A better understanding of the underlying mechanisms is needed for the design of improved therapies for pathogenic inflammation.
A key component of inflammation is the coordinated recruitment of immune cells, including neutrophils and T cells. The main focus of the Mrass lab is to analyze the behavior of CD8+ effector T cells directly within peripheral sites of inflammation, using cutting-edge imaging technology. We are currently using mouse models to visualize T cell migration and interaction in situ during sterile lung inflammation or infection with influenza virus. We are also in the process of setting up a murine model of lung cancer to perform in situ imaging of tumor-infitlrating T cells. These studies provide novel insights into the molecular pathways (cytoskeleton, adhesion receptors) that enable effective T cell migration, positioning and interaction within the inflamed microenvironment.
Paulus Mrass received his MD from the University of Vienna, Austria. He then joined Wolfgang Weninger’s lab (Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, PA and later Centenary Institute, Sydney, Australia), where he developed imaging models suitable for exploring T cell migration and interactions directly within tumors. In 2013, he joined Judy Cannon’s lab at the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology (University of New Mexico), where he established imaging models to study in situ migration of T cells infiltrating inflamed lungs. He maintains close collaborations with Judy Cannon’s lab.