Department: Bioengineering
Faculty Advisor(s): Jeff Hasty

Primary Student
Name: Brooks Edward Taylor
Email: b4taylor@ucsd.edu
Phone: 858-534-5594
Grad Year: 2014

Macrophages are potent mediators of the immune system.These versatile cells can polarize into plastic states, becoming inflammatory and microbicidal in response to attack, or transforming into a caretaker that repairs and remodels post-infection. Regulation between these dual states plays a key role in the development of HIV, Alzheimer's, and cancer [1,2]. While some mechanisms and characteristics of the polarization process have been identified, the biological description lacks two crucial dimensions: dynamics and single cell data. Using time-lapse fluorescence microscopy and automated tracking, it would be possible to both describe the progression of cells more fully, and correlate distinct upstream signaling behaviors with end-product expression and whole-cell behavior. As a first step, we present the design and initial application of a tracking algorithm capable of following macrophages through this process.

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