Manuscript: The evolution of the scavenger receptor cysteine-rich domain of the class A scavenger receptors

Do you work out? Cause you’re built like a rock! A rock like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson! You have an impenetrable body thanks to your complex immune system. So how did you get such a sophisticated immune system?

In the Bowdish lab, we do more than just macrophage biology; we also study the evolution of the immune system! The scavenger receptors are a group of receptors that play an important role in your immune system by binding harmful bacteria. Our most recent publication by Yap et al., looks at how these receptors evolved and how evolution has changed their function. These receptors are found in various forms of life such as sharks, frogs, and mammals, but the function and appearance of these receptors has changed over time. Check out the open access….

The Bowdish lab has a new PhD student! Congrats Avee!

 

 

Avee Naidoo successfully passed her transfer exam today. She now joins the ranks of Fan Fei, Mike Dorrington, Kyle Novakowski, Dessi Loukov, Sara Makaremi, and Pat Schenck as part of the Bowdish lab PhD posse. Well done Avee!

 

Avee-med

Becoming a PhD student in the Bowdish lab is a family affair. Junior lab members  sent their favourite stuffie in to wish Avee luck. It must have worked as she aced it!Becoming a PhD student in the Bowdish lab is a family affair. Junior lab members sent their favourite stuffie in to wish Avee luck. It must have worked as she aced it!

...and a little lab humour. We have both skilled scientists (see picture at bottom) and skilled artists (see whiteboard) in our lab.

…and a little lab humour. We have both skilled scientists (see picture at bottom) and skilled artists (see whiteboard) in our lab.

Extra! Extra! Bowdish Gang Uncovers Truth About IL-17 In The Nose!

The nose is the gateway to the soul… or the lungs at least… making it an important point of first contact between our fragile bodies and the hordes of superbugs attempting to take over the world. Only the brave immunologist has the power to save us from this dire threat. While it’s been known for a few years now that the inflammatory cytokine IL-17A is key to the control of many respiratory infections, no-one has been able to provide any information on the source of this cytokine in nasal infections or how this production is regulated. No more!

Post-doctoral fellow Chris Verschoor and Ph.D. Candidate Mike Dorrington, both trainees in Dr. Dawn Bowdish’s lab have recently had their manuscript “MicroRNA-155 is required for the clearance of Streptococcus pneumoniae from the nasopharynx” accepted for publication in Infection & Immunity. The paper, which was produced in collaboration with Dr. Param Nair of the Firestone Institute, outlines how microRNA- (miR-)155 regulates the immune response to S. pneumoniae colonization in the nasal passages of mice by stimulating the differentiation of Th17 cells. These cells then produce large amounts of IL-17A, which then acts as a chemotactic agent for macrophages, which have awesome swords and stuff that kill the bacteria and save the world! (macrophages are the best cells, by the way)

This paper is the first to show a direct connection between IL-17A-producing T cells and the clearance of a bacterial pathogen from the nasopharynx. It is also the first to show a phenotype of IL-17A deficiency without completely knocking out the cytokine itself. It represents a significant step forward in understanding the regulation of intranasal immune responses to bacterial colonization and how innate and adaptive immune networks collaborate in clearing these events. Way to go Bowdish Lab!

For more information please visit www.bowdish.ca/lab and check out the paper in an upcoming edition of Infection & Immunity.

 

Kaiser JC, Verschoor CP, Surette MG, Bowdish DME. Host cytokine responses distinguish invasive from airway isolates of the Streptococcus milleri/anginosis group. BMC Infect Dis. 2014 Sep 11;14:498. doi: 10.1186/1471-2334-14-498.

Kaiser JC, Verschoor CP, Surette MG, Bowdish DME. Host cytokine responses distinguish invasive from airway isolates of the Streptococcus milleri/anginosis group. BMC Infect Dis. 2014 Sep 11;14:498. doi: 10.1186/1471-2334-14-498.

This paper demonstrates that there are host- and strain- specific responses to isolates of the Streptococcus milleri/anginosis group and that isolates from invasive disease appear to be more immunostimulatory than those from commensal relationships.

“Comprehensive & simultaneous coverage of lipid and polar metabolites for endogenous cellular metabolomics using HILIC-TOF-MS” 2014. Fei et al. Anal Bioanal Chem.

 

Bowdish-McCarry PhD candidate, Fan Fei, publishes a protocol she created to study the endometabolome of macrophages and microbes in Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry. Click the image for the .pdf.
Fei 2014 covershot ABC

The Bowdish lab enters a collaborative agreement with Qu Biologics.

The lab of Dr. Dawn Bowdish at the McMaster University Immunology Research Centre (MIRC) has recently begun collaboration with the Vancouver-based pharmaceutical company Qu Biologics on preclinical studies investigating the role of macrophage dysfunction in chronic inflammation.

Qu Biologics has developed Site Specific Immunomodulators (SSIs), which aim to “reboot” the body’s innate immune system in targeted organs or tissues to reverse chronic inflammation.

“Macrophages are important cells of the innate immune system. There is growing evidence that macrophage dysfunction underlies many important common chronic diseases, including cancer and autoimmune disease,” said Dr. Hal Gunn, CEO of Qu Biologics. “This collaboration will be invaluable to assist in our understanding of the benefits of SSI therapy on macrophage function as it relates to chronic inflammation and immune dysfunction.” Dr. Gunn added.

The studies will test whether a lung-specific SSI therapy can restore normal lung and bone marrow-derived macrophage function using a variety of in vivo and in vitro assays.

Dr. Bowdish adds “This is an ambitious and exciting project that takes a fundamentally different approach to tackling the problem of chronic inflammation, which has been very resistant to therapeutic intervention. My team is thrilled to be working together on a problem that affects the lives of so many Canadians.”  This work capitalizes on the resources and immunology expertise of the McMaster Immunology Research Centre and Dr. Bowdish’s research interests in how inflammation impairs macrophage function.

About Qu Biologics

Qu Biologics develops Site Specific Immunomodulators (SSI), a novel class of immunotherapies that aim to reboot the body’s immune system. SSIs are designed to stimulate an immune response in targeted organs or tissues to potentially reverse the chronic inflammation underlying many conditions including cancer and autoimmune disease. The company recently launched a Phase 1/2 clinical trial to research SSI therapy for the treatment of Crohn’s disease.

Backed by a prestigious group of scientific advisors and board members, Qu Biologics is led by a management team that includes co-founder and CEO Dr. Hal Gunn, a physician and expert on the body’s immune response to chronic disease; and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Simon Sutcliffe, former CEO of the BC Cancer Agency and a distinguished clinician, scientist and leader in cancer control in Canada and internationally.  For more information, visit www.qubiologics.com and www.qucrohnstrial.com.

For more details and to see the original press release here:

http://www.qubiologics.com/qu-biologics-begins-research-with-mcmaster-university-to-study-chronic-inflammation-associated-with-macrophage-dysfunction/

 

 

Collaborator update: Fan Fei wins “Glasgow Polyomics & University of Strathclyde Young Scientist Award” at the 9th Annual Conference of the Metabolomics Society!

Fan Fei (PhD candidate), under the supervision of Dr. Brian McCarry, and in conjunction with Bowdish lab undergraduate Keith Lee, studies age related changes in the inflammatory response from a metabolomics perspective. Funded by the Russell Bell Travel Scholarship award, she attended the  9th Annual conference of the Metabolomics Society. July 1-4, 2013, SECC Glasgow. She won the “Glasgow Polyomics & University of Strathclyde Young Scientist Award” for outstanding poster presentation of research in the field of metabolomics at the Metabolomic Conference 2013 in Glasgow Scotland for her work “Comprehensive Metabolomic Analysis Reveals Major Differences in the Macrophage Inflammatory Response Between Young and Aged Mice”. Way to go Fan!