Ellen Puré, Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Puré earned her A.B. from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and her Ph.D. from the University of Texas-Southwestern Medical School. She trained as a postdoctoral fellow at The Rockefeller University where she then joined the faculty. In 1992, Dr. Puré moved to the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she is currently professor of cellular and molecular oncogenesis and professor of medicine, microbiology, and pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Puré’s laboratory studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms of inflammation. In recent years, they have revealed several novel mechanisms of regulation of type I inflammation including the regulation of IL-12 by endogenous pathways that mediate inflammation in response to tissue injury or organ dysfunction in the absence of infection. These pathways include receptors for modified matrix components such as CD44 and its ligand hyaluronan (proteins involved in lipid metabolism), and they recently demonstrated that 12/15-lipoxygenase (which catalyzes the metabolism of unsaturated fatty acids) selectively regulates IL-12 family cytokines by macrophages. In the course of these studies, they established that 12/15-lipoxygenase plays critical roles in chronic inflammation and in hematopoiesis and is a suppressor of leukemogenesis. The role of mesenchymal cells (including fibroblasts and smooth muscle cells) in chronic inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis and pulmonary fibrosis is a particular focus of the lab’s research. They have also recently expanded these studies to investigate the role of mesenchymal cell stromagenesis and extracellular matrix in the initiation and progression of epithelial-derived tumors.