Innate immunity, infection and inflammation

Innate immunity lies at the heart of human disease 

The innate immune system is our body’s first line of defence. When this system senses danger, for example an injury or a pathogen, it responds by initiating inflammation. Macrophages are key cellular components of innate immunity, with important roles in coordinating inflammatory responses and in destroying invading microorganisms.

When their functions are dysregulated, macrophages can trigger inappropriate or excessive inflammation, which is a key driver of many common diseases. The Sweet Group studies the genes and pathways that lead to inappropriate inflammatory responses in macrophages, with the goal of targeting these pathways to develop novel anti-inflammatory therapies.

Macrophages employ an arsenal of weaponry to destroy invading microorganisms, but many important human pathogens can disarm macrophages to establish an infection and cause disease. The Sweet Group also characterizes macrophage antimicrobial responses against bacterial pathogens, so that these pathways can be exploited for the development of new anti-infective agents.

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Prof Matt Sweet

Professor Matt Sweet

Group Leader, Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine Division
Director, Centre for Inflammation and Disease Research

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