For many years, the interleukin-1 receptor family member ST2 was an orphan receptor that was studied in the context of inflammatory and autoimmune disease. However, in 2005, a new cytokine--interleukin-33 (IL-33)--was identified as a functional ligand for ST2. IL-33/ST2 signalling is involved in T-cell mediated immune responses, but more recently, an unanticipated role in cardiovascular disease has been demonstrated. IL-33/ST2 not only represents a promising cardiovascular biomarker but also a novel mechanism of intramyocardial fibroblast-cardiomyocyte communication that may prove to be a therapeutic target for the prevention of heart failure.

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Rich Lee seeks to understand heart failure and metabolic diseases that accompany human aging, and translate that understanding into therapies. Lee is an active clinician, regularly treating patients at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

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