Sweet immunomodulation

LUISA MARTINEZ-POMARES is Associate Professor at the School of Life Sciences, University of Nottingham. The main focus of her work is to unravel the contribution of lectin receptors to the modulation of immune responses. Luisa is recognized, in particular, for her research on the mannose receptor (CD206, MR) [J. Leuk. Biol. (2012)92(6):1177-86]. Luisa is Section Editor Journal of Leukocyte Biology and Associate Editor Molecular Antigen Presenting Cell Biology Section of Frontiers in Immunology.
Luisa trained as a virologist working on African Swine Fever virus for her PhD at Universidad Autonoma de Madrid and Rabbitpox virus during her Post-Doctoral research at the University of Florida. After developing an immense curiosity for the workings of the immune system, Luisa joined Prof Siamon Gordon’s laboratory at Oxford University in 1994. At Oxford Luisa investigated binding properties, tissue expression and contribution to antigen presentation of MR. Findings on MR fuelled her interest on macrophage heterogeneity in lymphoid organs; specifically metallophilic macrophages in the spleen and subcapsular sinus macrophages in lymph nodes which play important roles in antigen handling.

Luisa joined the University of Nottingham in 2005 where she continued and expanded her interest on MR unveiling, among others, its important contribution to allergen recognition and promotion of Th2 differentiation.

Current work at Luisa’s lab funded by the MRC and CRUK focuses on the use of novel high affinity MR ligands developed in collaboration with Drs Mantovani and Mastrotto (University of Nottingham) to modulate macrophage activation. In addition Luisa has initiated a research programme on bacteria pathogenesis in collaboration with Profs Camara and Williams (University of Nottingham). Current research funded by the MRC focuses on the contribution of MR and another important C-type lectin receptor, DC-SIGN (CD209), to chronic infection with the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa.