The long-term goal of Dr. King’s research is to alleviate deaths from infectious diseases. Given that severe infections are frequently related to weaknesses in the immune system, Dr. King’s research focuses on the molecular mechanisms by which inflammation affects blood and immune cell production by hematopoietic stem cells in the bone marrow. Dr. King has been the recipient of a NIH K08 mentored physician scientist training award, the March of Dimes Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Award, the Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation Liviya Anderson Award, and the Caroline Wiess Law Foundation in Molecular Medicine Award. Her research has been published in highly regarded journals such as Nature, Cell Reports, and Blood.
Current projects in the lab include:
Inflammatory Regulation of Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells to Enhance Innate Immunity
We are studying the therapeutic use of hematopoietic stem and progenitors to improve immune responses against bacterial infections including Group A Streptococcal superinfections complicating influenza. Funding to support this project: NIH R01, 2017-2021
The Contribution of Infection to Preleukemic Clonal Hematopoiesis
We are studying how the differential responses of hematopoietic stem cells to inflammation contribute to emergence of leukemia. These studies provide a mechanistic understanding of how infections affect cancer risk. Funding to support this project: NIH R01, 2017-2022
Microbiota-dependent Regulation of Primitive Hematopoiesis
An adverse side effect of antibiotics is that they may suppress blood and immune cell production by the bone marrow. In a study published last year, we demonstrated that these adverse effects of antibiotics are due to disruption of the intestinal microbiome. Our current work will define the molecular pathways through which the microbiome signals to support normal blood production. Funding to supporting this project: NIH R01 (co-investigator), 2018-2023