Dr. David Ucker is a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine. He has a long-standing interest in the molecular and cellular biology of cell death and in the physiological (and, especially, the immunological) consequences of apoptosis.
Over the last 25 years, my laboratory has been focused on an understanding of physiological cell death. Our early work concentrated on the process of apoptotic cell death per se, exploring its induction in disparate instances, and the mechanistic relationship between cell death and the cell cycle.
In 2000, we began an exploration of the consequences of cell death on phagocytic cells with which dead cells interact. Those studies quickly revealed the profound immunosuppressive (including anti-inflammatory) effects of apoptotic cells, and developed further into the characterization of what we have termed innate apoptotic immunity (IAI).
We are dedicated to the molecular dissection of mechanistic aspects of this ubiquitous and unconventional immune response, and to exploring the effects of IAI in a variety of settings, including aging, autoimmunity, microbial pathogenesis, and cancer.