Søren Riis Paludan
The early interactions between a pathogen (e.g. virus) and the immune system are of central importance for the eventual outcome – pathology and disease versus clearance and reestablishment of homeostasis. In my laboratory we are interested in understanding the early events that occur during immunological challenge, and to characterize the impact on the control of infections. The innate immune system utilizes pattern recognition receptors to sense infections and to induce antimicrobial responses. In the case of virus infections, the type I interferons are particularly well-described to have strong antiviral activity. However, type I interferon can also cause significant pathology, and there is increasing appreciation of antiviral activities, which are independent of type I interferon. We seek to understand the mechanisms involved in both interferon-dependent and –independent antiviral immunity, and the interactions between these activities. Since many immunological phenomena occurring during viral infections are also involved in the pathology of non-communicable diseases, e.g. autoinflammatory diseases, we are also interested in uncovering the immunological basis for a panel of human pathologies.