Pullen Lab Research

Mast Cells Myeloid Derived Suppressor Cells and Cancer

We are interested in cell biology questions that have translational importance to diseases and medicine.  Generally, we can be characterized as stuyding inflammation, whether this is allergy, wound healing, or cancer.  A lot of the cells and mechanisms we study are effectors of the interactions between innate and adaptive immunity.  

We are currently working on the following:
  • Signaling networks associated with suppressing mast cell activity, with special attention to the effects of TGF-β, stem cell factor, and miRNAs.
  • Functional roles of trefoil family factors (TFFs) and their utility as biomarkers across diverse cancer types.
  • The effects of plant-derived compounds on T cell biology (alkaloids) and mast cells and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (cannabinoids, in collaboration with the Hyslop lab in Chemistry & Biochemistry).
  • In collaboration with the Haughian and Hayward (School of Sport and Exercise Science) labs we are studying the effects of exercise on cancer progression and recovery. Currently, we are focusing on myeloid-derived suppressor cell expansion and function in the context of exercise.