Kate Fitzgerald received her B.Sc. in 1995 from University College Cork, Ireland, and her Ph.D. in 1999 from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. From 1999 to 2001, she was a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Biochemistry at Trinity College Dublin in the Laboratory of Professor Luke O'Neill. Dr. Fitzgerald joined the Division of Infectious Disease at the University of Massachusetts Medical School as a recipient of a Welcome Trust International Award in 2001. In 2004 she joined the Faculty as an Assistant Professor and is currently Professor of Medicine and Director of the Program in Innate Immunity (www.umassmed.edu/pii).
INNATE IMMUNE SIGNALING
Research in the Fitzgerald lab is focused on understanding the molecular basis of host defense and the inflammatory process. Active research areas include: (1) mechanisms and biology of caspase-1 activating inflammasome complexes, (2) nucleic acid sensors, with a particular focus on cytosolic DNA recognition systems and (3) role of long non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs) in the regulation of inflammatory gene expression. Enabling these studies, our research uses immunology, molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics to understand these mechanisms. Our longer term goals are to understand how dysregulation of sensing, signaling and gene regulation in innate immunity underlie the pathogenesis of infectious, inflammatory and autoimmune disease in humans.