Chronic inflammation is a central feature of many infectious (chronic viral infections) and non-infectious conditions (obesity and aging). Over time, this inflammation results in organ damage and dysregulation of metabolic processes, which contributes to the development of age-associated diseases including cardiovascular disease, fatty liver disease, and diabetes. Despite the fact that metabolic homeostasis plays an important role in regulating immune function, very little is known about the mechanisms controlling these interactions and how dysregulation of these processes contribute to the development of diseases.
THE APPROACH: Our research uses an interdisciplinary approach combining immunological and systems biology techniques (i.e. metabolomics and transcriptomics) with clinical data sets to obtain a global understanding of external (e.g. diet or nutritional status) and internal factors (e.g. immune profiles) that contribute to persistent inflammation and the development of age-associated diseases.
Laboratory studies involve the use of in vitro models (cell lines and primary cells) and clinical samples (plasma, urine and fecal samples) to better understand the complex interactions between metabolism and inflammation.
THE PEOPLE: The Cassol Lab in the Department of Health Sciences at Carleton University was established in August 2014. Our offices are located on the 5th floor of Inco Wing in the Herzberg Building. Until the completion of the Health Sciences building in 2017, our lab is located on the 4th floor of the Steacie Building.
As an interdisciplinary lab we collaborate with researchers all over the world combining expertise in immunology, infectious disease, microbiology, biochemistry, nutrition, bioinformatics and computer science. Current projects include collaborations with researchers and clinicians at the Ottawa Hospital and the University of Pretoria in South Africa (see Research Projects).