The Oberst Lab studies how cells die, and how dying cells impact immunity. It is located within the Department of Immunology at the University of Washington in beautiful Seattle.
One of our interests is in finding ways of killing cancer cells that activate the immune system. Therapies that achieve this would eliminate tumor cells while promoting beneficial immune attack on surviving cancer cells or distant metastases.
Another focus of the lab is on understanding how viruses activate the pathways of cell death, and the consequences for the host when they do so. Our work has focused on the effect of flavivirus infection in the brain, and the consequences of activation of the necroptotic pathway in this site.
We also study roles for cell death in auto-inflammatory pathology. We recently identified types of self-produced RNA that can activate cell death pathways when they are dysregulated, and we are working to understand how improper sensing of our own nucleic acids can drive pathology.
More details of our research interests can be found on the Research page.