Cell Clearance in Health and Disease Lab

Every day, we turn over billions of cells as part of normal development and homeostasis. The recognition and phagocytic removal of such cells destined to die (mostly via 'apoptosis') is fundamentally important for our health. Failure to promptly and efficiently clear apoptotic cells can lead to chronic inflammation, autoimmunity and developmental defects.

Kodimangalam Ravichandran

Group Leader
VIB Group leader since January 2017
Chair: Dept. of Microbiol., Immunol. & Cancer Biol., Univ. of Virginia, USA, 2010-present
Director: Center for Cell Clearance, Univ. of Virginia, USA, 2008-present
Professor: Univ. of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA, 1996-present
Postdoc: Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA, 1992-1996
PhD: Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA, 1992

Research areas

Immunology & inflammation

Model organisms

Research Focus

Every day, we turn over billions of cells as part of normal development and homeostasis. The recognition and phagocytic removal of such cells destined to die (mostly via 'apoptosis') is fundamentally important for our health. Failure to promptly and efficiently clear apoptotic cells can lead to chronic inflammation, autoimmunity and developmental defects.

Engulfment of apoptotic cells - the art of eating a good meal. 

Every day, we turn over billions of cells as part of normal development and homeostasis. The recognition and phagocytic removal of such cells destined to die (mostly via 'apoptosis') is fundamentally important for our health. Failure to promptly and efficiently clear apoptotic cells can lead to chronic inflammation, autoimmunity and developmental defects. The apoptotic cell clearance is usually done by neighbouring cells or by professional phagocytes such as macrophages and dendritic cells. In studying this process, we consider four broad issues related to 'eating an apoptotic meal'. The first issue is getting to the meal itself. This involves the release of so called 'find-me signals' from apoptotic cells that serve as attraction cues to recruit monocytes and macrophages near an apoptotic cell. We have identified a critical for the nucleotides ATP and UTP as find-me signals that are released in a regulated way very early on during apoptosis (Elliott et al. Nature, 2009; Checkeni et al., Nature, 2010; Poon et al., Nature 2014).
 

Publications

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Jobs

We are always on the lookout for highly motivated colleagues to join our team. If you are interested, please contact us.

Team

The Kodi Ravichandran Lab can only thrive thanks to the dedication and commitment of its people, no matter what their function or seniority. 

Events

To stay up to date in rapidly developing fields, scientists regularly interact with (international) colleagues. Conferences and other (scientific) events are an excellent way to facilitate such a continent-spanning knowledge exchange.

Funding