Platelets—small cells which circulate in abundance in the bloodstream—are traditionally known for their ability to form clots and stop bleeding. Recent studies, however, have shown that platelets and their parent cells, megakaryocytes, also play a role in inflammation and infection. University of Utah Health investigators Robert Campbell, PhD, and Matthew Rondina, MD, and colleagues discovered that platelets and megakaryocytes respond robustly to infection, including COVID-19. These infection-driven changes in platelets activate clotting mechanisms and thus may contribute to the blood clots that complicate COVID-19 infection. Continue reading → Megakaryocytes and Platelets in Immune and Inflammatory Responses and in COVID-19
Our research program focuses on platelet and megakaryocyte gene expression and function during thrombo-inflammatory syndromes. To answer clinically-relevant questions, we utilize primary human cells and samples from patients as well as relevant experimental model systems. Current projects in the lab span from studies in patients with infectious diseases (e.g. sepsis, dengue, influenza) to aging and cardiometabolic disorders.