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overview Infection and inflammation are major contributors to many devastating lung diseases. Dr. Palaniyar studies innate immunity, infection, inflammation and immune cell clearance in the lungs. His research over the last 13 years has brought forward many new advances in the field. Dr. Palaniyar joined the Hospital for Sick Children as a scientist in 2004, and has continued to work on the immune functions of SP-D; the same year, neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation (NETosis) had been discovered as an unique form of cell death that can help to trap and kill bacteria. Dr. Palaniyar focused on developing several animal models to study pulmonary NETosis in vivo. Dr. Palaniyar’s PhD studies focused on the microbial immune evasion and genomic DNA replication. He has learned DNA biogenesis (replication, repair and recombination) and discovered novel functions of genes (DNA polymerase, helicase, ssDNA binding proteins). As a Postdoctoral Fellow he studied the structure and function of lipid associated proteins (Myelin basic protein and proteolipid protein) and innate immune proteins (pulmonary surfactant proteins SP-A and SP-D). In Cincinnati, Dr. Palaniyar generated transgenic mice to study the functions of various domains of SP-A and SP-D. At the University of Oxford, he focused more on SP-D and discovered that SP-D and other collectins (collagenous lectins) binds effectively DNA (JBC 2004). Recently, Dr. Palaniyar was on a 6-month sabbatical at Shriners hospitals for Children - Boston to develop a pulmonary NETosis model to study the effect of burn injury on immune suppression in the lungs. The current proposal focusses on this mouse model to further understand the effect of burn injury in pulmonary immunosuppression leading to sepsis. Dr. Palaniyar has been very interested in translating basic science findings to clinical conditions. Therefore, he have been conducting several clinically relevant studies (Roles of neutrophils and NETs in bronchiolitis obliterans and pulmonary infections in stem cell transplant children; NETs in Ex Vivo Lung Perfusion (EVLP) system, NETs in thrombomicroangiopathy/complement system, NETs in cystic fibrosis lung disease). NETs are considered to be double edge swords, and Dr. Palaniyar has been conducting pioneering research work over the last decade on this topic. Dr. Palaniyar’s lab consists of a strong group of trainees – MSc, PhD, PDFs and team investigators to work on NETosis and SP-D. They have conceived and proved several novel ideas (functions of neutrophil mitochondria, neutrophil transcription, NETosis pathway details, relevance of NET - trapping but not effective killing of bacteria; a novel form of neutrophil death termed ApoNETosis). They have identified several candidate drugs to regulate (suppress/promote) NETosis by drug screening. Dr. Palaniyar’s lab is currently validating these drug targets. If some of these drugs become clinically useful, those compounds could be tested in the burn model (other than the DNAse enzyme). Dr. Palaniyar also has clinical and basic collaborative studies – both local and international.

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