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Prithu Sundd

Title of talk: "In vivo and ex vivo imaging reveals a role for Platelet Inflammasome in Sickle Cell Disease"

Summary of talk: Dr. Sundd will show how he and his team have used intravital microscopy of lung in live transgenic humanized Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) mice, ex vivo live cell imaging of blood sample from SCD patients in microfluidic platforms and biochemical approaches to identify a role for platelet TLR4 and NLRP3-inflammasome in promoting leukocyte-platelet aggregation, loss of blood flow and lung injury in SCD. Their study identifies new drug targets to attenuate pulmonary vasculopathy in SCD.

Short biosketch: Dr. Sundd graduated with a PhD in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in 2008 from the Ohio University in Athens, OH, USA and then pursued his postdoctoral training in Inflammation Biology at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology in La Jolla, CA from 2008 to 2013. His postdoctoral research aimed at understanding the mechanism of neutrophil rolling and arrest during inflammation, led to the invention of Quantitative Dynamic Footprinting, understanding the role of membrane tethers and cell deformation in leukocyte rolling (Nature Methods 2010) and discovery of cell autonomous adhesive structures known as "slings", which facilitate neutrophil rolling on endothelium during inflammation (Nature 2012). In spring of 2013, Dr. Sundd joined the University of Pittsburgh as the Assistant Professor of Medicine and Bioengineering and the Principal Investigator at the Vascular Medicine Institute (VMI) of the University of Pittsburgh-School of Medicine. After arriving to VMI, Dr. Sundd has established a unique research program that uses multiscale integrative physiological approaches to identify the role of neutrophils and platelets in pulmonary vasculopathy of Sickle Cell Disease. His lab specializes in studying inflammation and thrombosis using intravital microscopy of intact organs in transgenic mice and ex vivo live cell-fluorescence microscopy of human blood in microfluidic systems. In 2014, his lab became the first lab in the US to conduct in vivo imaging of lung in live humanized transgenic Sickle Cell Disease mice. His recent findings (Journal of Clinical Investigation-Insight 2017) have identified a role for platelet-neutrophil aggregates and the efficacy of blocking platelet P-selectin in preventing pulmonary arteriole micro-embolism in Sickle Cell Disease. More information is available at