We use high throughput single-cell RNA-seq and epigenome profiling as well as cell based in-vitro assays to characterize the initiating cell in granulomas. Furthermore, we will identify the processes leading to the formation of giant cells, multi-nucleated cells resulting from fusions of macrophages, which can be regularly found in granulomatous diseases.
Cutaneous T cell Lymphoma (CTCL) is a rare disease with no existing curable treatment and no selective biomarkers for patient stratification. Unbiased profiling of CTCL biopsies in early and late stages of the disease revealed a subset of tumor infiltrating macrophages that undergo progressive changes along with the disease. We will phenotypically characterize the tumor immune microenvironment of CTCL and identify potential targets for treatment as well as cellular and molecular biomarkers for improved patient stratification.