Who we are
G ris Lab of Neuroimmunology is part of Division of Immunology, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine at CHUS University of Sherbrooke (QC, Canada). The mission of Gris Lab of Neuroimmunology is to study and advance the knowledge in the fields of neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation. Our devised research program is to discover novel mechanisms responsible for the control of inflammatory processes within the central nervous system (CNS).
What We Do and Why We Do It
For a long time, central nervous system was considered an immunopriveleged site for its limited arsenal to mount an inflammatory response. In the recent years, work of many researchers throughout the world demonstrated that immune system plays a critical role in maintaining CNS homeostasis during healthy state and disease. Neuroinflammation emerged as a common denominator in many neurodegenerative diseases including multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntigton’s disease, epilepsy, stroke, etc. It is our shared belief that lessons learnt from one neurodegenerative disease can be applied to study mechanisms of several other neurodegenerative diseases. Our goal is to find key players that regulate neuroinflammatory response and to use this knowledge to design novel therapies to treat neurodegenerative diseases.
A recently discovered family of proteins, Nlrs, are among main regulatory proteins of the immune system. The Nlr family of proteins comprises 23 members in human and 34 in mice. Nlrs can regulate both the innate and adaptive immune system. Upon pathogen recognition, these proteins can activate multiple pro-inflammatory molecular pathways including formation of inflammasome, activation of NFkB and MAP kinase pathways. Nlrs have been implicated in development of autoimmune disorders; however their function in neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration is poorly understood.
Our mission is to find key players that regulate neuroinflammatory response and to use this knowledge to design novel therapies for treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, including stroke, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson's disease.
The function of Nlrs is an emerging field of study which, so far, has been approached by studying the response of the immune system against pathogens. Uncovering the role of Nlrs in neuroinflammation opens a potential to find novel approaches in regulating the immune response.