Jim Cassat lab
The Cassat Lab studies host-pathogen interactions during osteomyelitis (bone infection) and inflammatory bone loss in conditions such as IBD. I am interested in how infection and inflammation propel macrophages to differentiate into bone-resorbing osteoclasts. These cells contribute to bone loss seen in infectious and inflammatory conditions, but how the inflammatory milieu might change the expression profile and functional capacities of these cells to enable such significant bone destruction is not known. My project will characterize the lineage progression of macrophages to osteoclasts to ultimately define how inflammation changes cellular identity and which signaling pathways are most important in driving these processes.