Bryan Hurley, Ph.D.
Mucosal Immunology and Biology Research Center, Mass General Research Institute
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Harvard Medical School
|PhD Tufts University 2001|
The Hurley Laboratory’s research objective is to better understand how injury, infection, and genetic predisposition can drive mucosal inflammation that leads to tissue damage associated with both acute and chronic mucosal diseases such as pneumonia, cystic fibrosis and inflammatory bowel disease. Specifically, our research explores how bacterial pathogens and other noxious agents impact the mucosal barrier’s integrity at the respiratory and digestive surface and provoke inflammatory responses. We are actively exploring cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in orchestrating neutrophil trans-epithelial migration (i.e. how neutrophils breach mucosal epithelial barriers).
We have discovered an inducible, tightly regulated process involving the release of lipid mediators, known as eicosanoids that function as neutrophil chemo-attractants, directing neutrophils to breach intact epithelial barriers. A more thorough understanding of the mucosal barrier, its vulnerabilities and how inflammation can disrupt its integrity will inform the development of new therapies for managing excessive inflammation in the face of a diverse array of external threats and internal factors.