Dr. Capitano’s research focuses on how certain environmental conditions, cytokines and endogenous molecules (i.e. danger signals) induced during inflammation may affect hematopoiesis with the ultimate goal of understanding how these danger signals stimulate/regulate the proliferation and differentiation of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. One protein that is of particular interest is DEK, a newly recognized danger signal that is implicated in the regulation of transcription, chromatin remodeling and mRNA processing and that may help in maintaining hematopoietic stem cell numbers during inflammation. Dr. Capitano’s research focuses on discovering whether DEK, which is secreted by macrophages and neutrophils following inflammatory stimuli and by apoptotic T cells, plays a role in the resolution of inflammation thus preserving hematopoietic stem cell numbers and returning the bone marrow microenvironment to a more homeostatic level of hematopoiesis.
Dr. Capitano's research interests include:
- One major current and future research focus of mine is on the role of DEK in regulating normal hematopoiesis, acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDSs). DEK is a unique DNA-binding protein that plays a role in gene regulation through its ability to stabilize heterochromatin.
Expertise: Microbiology & Immunology