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K-State Today

October 21, 2021

Division of Biology and KAWSE to host Mary O’Riordan

Submitted by Division of Biology and KAWSE

As part of the ADVANCE Distinguished Lecture Series and the Division of Biology Seminar Series, Mary O'Riordan, professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Michigan, will present "STRESSing Out Over Infection — How Cellular Stress Shapes Innate Immunity" at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 25, in 221 Ackert Hall.

Innate immune cells are wired to sense danger and stress, using existing organelle stress circuits to amplify pro-inflammatory signaling. We explore mechanisms of innate immune responses to bacterial infection, focusing on stress sensing and signaling in the ER, mitochondria and cytosol. Our previous studies have identified the ER stress sensor IRE1 as a critical regulator of macrophage and neutrophil innate immune signaling. Moreover, IRE1 acts to control pro-inflammatory through multiple pathways, including programming mitochondrial stress. Infection or Toll-like receptor engagement signals profound changes in mitochondrial metabolism, signaling and architecture. Our current studies are elucidating the contribution of key mitochondrial components, such as the phospholipid cardiolipin, to switching mitochondrial function from homeostasis to supporting pro-inflammatory signaling. Collectively, our data support a model where regulators of ER and mitochondrial stress shape and scaffold the innate immune response to infection.

If you would like to visit with O'Riordan, please contact Steph Shames at sshames@k-state.edu