Uncoupling Pyroptosis from Cell Lysis

Lucian DiPeso : Molecular & Cell Biology

Mentor: Russell Vance, Molecular & Cell Biology

Pyroptosis is a poorly understood mode of “cell suicide,” one that functions as an alarm bell for the body’s immune system in response to infection. Though beneficial when properly regulated, the rapid immune response triggered by pyroptosis can, itself, produce disease and dysfunction. Pyroptosis has been identified as a possible contributor to cardiovascular disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and some neurodegenerative disorders. Understanding pyroptosis, then, could lead to novel treatments for a variety of human diseases. Unfortunately, despite ten years of research, uncovering how it precisely works has proven to be an elusive task. Lucian will use a novel microscopic imaging system he developed in order to characterize pyroptosis and rigorously test the field’s leading hypothesis on how pyroptosis causes cell death.