Cells of the immune system defend us against a variety of insults, including infection by pathogens. However, it is now clear that immune cells also have important functions during development, tissue repair, and homeostasis. The Franklin laboratory is interested in how the innate immune system, and macrophages in particular, contribute to these processes, with a focus on the communication between macrophages and non-immune cells within tissues.
Ruth Franklin received her B.A. from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine where she majored in Biology and minored in Sociology. She earned her Ph.D. in Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis from Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences, where she studied in the laboratory of Dr. Ming Li at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Her thesis work characterized the lineage and function of tumor-associated macrophages in the development and progression of breast cancer.
Dr. Franklin then joined the laboratory of Dr. Ruslan Medzhitov at Yale School of Medicine as a postdoctoral fellow, where she continued to expand her interests in macrophage biology. Her work demonstrated that cell composition within tissues can be regulated by reciprocal exchange of growth factors. Over the course of her research, Dr. Franklin also identified a number of secreted factors produced by macrophages in response to stress conditions. These molecules likely have important functions during both homeostasis and inflammation.
Demystifying the Immune System
What happens during an infection? This course will follow the progression of an immune response while exploring the following questions: What is inflammation? How can it both protect us and contribute to disease? Which physiologic processes are regulated by immune cells? In addition to participation in lectures, discussions, and analysis of primary literature, each student will create an original piece of science communication to engage with the general public.