Indication: Professor Ricardo Gazzinelli – Department of Biochemistry and Immunology, Institute of Biological Sciences – UFMG

Period: November 29 to December 13, 2010 and May 31 to June 10, 2011

Doctor Douglas Golenbock is head of the Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMASS) and researcher in charge of an international research agreement between UFMG, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz and UMASS. doctor Golenbock is an internationally recognized authority in the field of innate immune receptors and infectious disease. Recently, the researcher started a transdisciplinary research program in Brazil on malaria, which involves topics such as immunology, cell biology, epidemiology, clinical medicine, entomology and parasitology.

The main objective of the laboratory headed by Dr. Golenbock is to characterize the receptors used by leukocytes in the presence of components derived from microbial agents, which can result in acute and chronic inflammatory diseases. These illnesses include sepsis, pneumonia, fatal viral infections and malaria. Over the years, his laboratory’s main focus has been on studying the effects of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS), as well as studying its family of receptors, including LPS binding proteins (LBP) and CD14, toll-like receptors. (TLRs), and the TLR4 co-receptor, MD2. Other microbial products of more recent interest include nucleic acid from viruses and bacteria, hemazoin produced by the malaria parasite, and lipopeptides produced by gram negative bacteria. The Doctor. Golenbock uses a variety of modern techniques to study cell activation by microbial components, including molecular genetic techniques. Among these techniques, we highlight the development of genetically modified cell lines and immortalized macrophages. Using these cells and advanced biochemical, immunological and imaging techniques, his laboratory characterized the signaling pathways activated by LPS, contributing to the definition of the TLR4 / MD2 complex as the LPS recognition molecule. In addition, the laboratory of Dr. Golenbock identified the TLR2 receptor as the central recognition receptor for a wide variety of molecules derived from bacteria, fungi, mycoplasma, and mycobacteria. All these discoveries from the laboratory of Dr. Golenbock has helped us to better understand the molecular mechanisms of infectious diseases, but also provides us with new ideas about the pathophysiological mechanisms of chronic inflammatory diseases such as Lupus and Atherosclerosis that may have similar molecular mechanisms to infectious diseases.