BE Seminar: “Systems Immunology Approaches for Tissue Repair and Regeneration” (Andres Muñoz-Rojas, Harvard)
February 29 @ 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Immunology, Harvard Medical School
Dr. Muñoz-Rojas is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Immunology at Harvard Medical School. He was born and raised in Mexico City and received his bachelor’s degree in Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Muñoz-Rojas completed his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at Yale University with Dr. Kathryn Miller-Jensen, where he developed systems immunology tools to study macrophage polarization. At Harvard Medical School, he works in the laboratory of Dr. Diane Mathis and Christophe Benoist, where he studies the role of regulatory T cells in regulating tissue homeostasis and repair. Dr. Muñoz-Rojas’s systems immunology research program sits at the interface of engineering, immunology, systems biology, and regenerative medicine, and aims to elucidate the immune-mediated mechanisms of regeneration to engineer precision therapies for tissue repair and regeneration.
The immune system uses a complex network of interacting cells that work together to regulate tissue physiology, homeostasis, and repair. In muscle, a tightly coordinated network of immunocytes and mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) is required for adequate skeletal muscle repair after acute injury or disease. Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are important players in regulating excessive inflammation and potentiating regeneration, but the extent of intercellular communications underlying their functions remains poorly understood. In this seminar, I will discuss my efforts in developing systems immunology approaches to dissect the dynamic communication networks between muscle Tregs and MSCs in a time-resolved study of skeletal muscle injury. Bringing together tools from single-cell and computational biology, engineering, and immunology, we uncovered distinct communication pathways important for the recruitment and induction of regenerative Tregs and the potentiation of muscle repair. This work identifies novel regulatory pathways that can inform therapeutic approaches for muscle-related pathologies.