Contact: Alexander Shtifman
Phone: 617-713-8989

NLRP3 inflammasome is a multiprotein assembly responsible for activation of inflammatory process through the recognition of a broad spectrum of signals. Autosomal dominant mutations in the NLRP3 expressing gene are associated with auto-inflammatory diseases, named cryopyrin-associated syndrome (CAPS). Sterile inflammation by NLRP3 has been shown to contribute to other human diseases that include gout, cardiovascular diseases and Alzheimer’s disease. During this 2-year award Dr. Li, an Instructor in Hao Wu's laboratory,  will investigate the auto-inhibition and activation mechanism of NLRP3. He will also elucidate the interactions between caspase recruitment domains (CARDs) of apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a CARD (ASC) and caspase-1, which mediate NLRP3 inflammasome formation. Dr. Li also aims to identify small molecule inhibitors that are capable of interfering with the inflammasome assembly.