Benarafa Lab

The laboratory of Charaf Benarafa investigates molecular, cellular and in vivo pathways of innate immune cell responses, which are critical for infectious and inflammatory disease. At the gene and molecular level, our work focuses on chemokines, antimicrobial peptides, proteases and their targets. We have particular interest in the regulation of protease activity by their inhibitors of the serpin family. Importantly, some viruses encode proteases, serpins as well as cytokines and receptors, which may modulate immune responses. At the cellular level, our expertise lies with the biology of innate immune cells, phagocytes and particularly neutrophils. At the level of the organism, we are interested in immune responses to various infections especially in the lungs as well as in the regulation of inflammatory responses. Our research uses innovative unbiased molecular approaches and validation by targeted (CRISPR/Cas) and conventional transgenic mouse models to investigate pathways amenable to therapeutic intervention in infectious and inflammatory diseases.