The McKim Lab investigates bidirectional immune and brain communication in the context of stress and disease. We’ve shown that neuroendocrine activation during psychological stress enhances the myelopoietic production of inflammatory monocytes and granulocytes that traffic to the brain. The dynamic interaction of myeloid cells with vascular brain endothelial cells and resident microglia propagate neuroinflammatory signaling that regulates mood, cognition, and behavior. Similarly, systemic inflammation associated with peripheral disease (e.g., solid tumors, cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes) regulates myelopoiesis, leukocyte trafficking to the brain, and behavior through some conserved mechanisms.
We aim to address important biomedical questions from a uniquely integrative, multidisciplinary approach. Our topics include:
- Stress and endocrine regulation of immune cell production
- Immune regulation of behavior
- Immune regulation of tumors and atherosclerosis
- Brain leukocytes
Our Principal Investigator is Daniel McKim.