We seek to understand the mammalian immune system's molecular machinery against infections of all kinds, and to produce and archive mutations affecting mouse genetic function.
The Beutler lab discovered the Toll-like receptors as molecular sensors of infection. This was achieved by a classical genetic approach: the positional cloning of mutations that prevented responses to bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS). This work was recognized by the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
The Major Questions
How do we "know" when we have an infection? What receptors alert us? With the tools of genetics, answers are emerging.