Dr Seth Masters
The Masters laboratory studies the innate immune system, which can be activated to cause autoinflammatory disease. A particular focus in this area has been the inflammasome protein complex which generates the cytokine IL-1b. Specifically, Dr Masters and colleagues discovered mutations that activate the Pyrin inflammasome in a dominantly inherited skin disease they called PAAND, which lead to successful therapy by blocking IL-1b. The NLRP1 inflammasome has also been an active area of research, with links to IBD, cancer, obesity and metabolic syndrome. Previous work of note includes activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome by IAPP amyloid, and discovery of the autoinflammatory disease DIRA, due to mutations in IL-1Ra. A new research angle for the lab now investigates the mechanism of efficacy for proteasome inhibitors (eg. bortezomib) in multiple myeloma.