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“A scientist is like a detective. You uncover clues constantly that lead you toward discoveries of new molecules and new pathways. ”
Catherine C. "Lynn" Hedrick, Ph.D.
Division of Inflammation Biology

cell-bullet1.jpg "My interest in science began when I was a child, as my mother suffered from complications of Type 1 diabetes, and so when I was little, I always wanted to study it.  Later, I became interested in cardiovascular disease, which is also a complication of diabetes, as a global health concern. I hope my work at the la Jolla Institute will bring new opportunities to find therpaies to reduce or prevent atherosclerosis development."  - Catherine C. "Lynn" Hedrick, Ph.D.

Catherine C. "Lynn" Hedrick, PhD, is a Professor in the Division of Inflammation Biology. Hedrick's lab is interested in immune cell function in atherosclerosis & cancer. 

Hedrick received her B.S. in Biology from Salem College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in 1984. She received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Wake Forest University School of Medicine in 1992, where she performed her graduate research on LDL cholesterol metabolism in the laboratory of Dr Lawrence Rudel. From 1992 to 1995, she performed her postdoctoral research on HDL metabolism in the laboratory of Dr Aldons ‘Jake' Lusis at UCLA. From 1995 to 1999, she worked as a junior faculty member in the Division of Cardiology at UCLA, where her research focused on inflammation and endothelial function. From 2000 to 2009, Dr. Hedrick worked as a professor in the Departments of Pharmacology, Medicine, and Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. In 2009, Dr. Hedrick was awarded the Harrison Chair of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics at the University of Virginia. Dr. Hedrick joined the faculty of LJI in the Division of Inflammation Biology in 2009.
Dr. Hedrick currently serves on the NHLBI Vascular Cellular Molecular Biology Review Committee, the AAI Committee for the Status of Women, and the American Heart Association ATVB Council Leadership Committee. She is also a Fellow of the American Heart Association. Recent honors received by Dr. Hedrick include the ATVB Vascular Biology Special Recognition Award, from the American Heart Association in 2013; the Jeffrey M. Hoeg Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology Award for Basic Science and Clinical Research from the American Heart Association in 2014; and the Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology Mentor of Women Award from the American Heart Association in 2015.
research focus

cell-bullet2.jpgOur research is focused on understanding how immune cell function is changed during the progression of chronic diseases, particularly atherosclerosis and cancer.

There are 4 main aspects to our research. One is studying how immune cells, such as T cells, are modulated by high cholesterol (such as high LDL-cholesterol) to contribute to atherosclerosis and cancer. We have found that the cholesterol content of Tregs changes their phenotype and function in atherosclerosis. We also found that the cholesterol content of macrophages polarized macrophages to an anti-tumoral phenotype in cancer. The second is to study and target monocytes to aid in the prevention of cancer metastasis. Some monocytes are pro-tumoral, and other monocyte subsets are anti-tumoral, as we have shown that nonclassical monocytes prevent tumor metastasis.  We want to understand more about how these monocyte subsets impact cancer initiation and progression. The third is to discover new monocyte subsets and understand their regulation of disease.  We are using CyTOF mass cytometry to identify new monocyte subsets that may be important in disease. The fourth is to understand how the metabolic and epigenetic profiles of monocytes and their progenitors change during disease progression.  This is an exciting new area of research in our program.

selected publications

cell-bullet3.jpgPatrolling Monocytes Control Tumor Metastasis to the Lung.  Science. 2015

Transcription factor Nr4a1 couples sympathetic and inflammatory cues in CNS-recruited macrophages to limit neuroinflammation.  Nat Immunol. 2015.

Cardif (MAVS) Regulates the Maturation of NK Cells. J Immunol. 2015.

Cutting Edge: The Orphan Nuclear Receptor Nr4a1 Regulates CD8+ T Cell Expansion and Effector Function through Direct Repression of Irf4.  J Immunol. 2015  

The transcription factor NR4A1 is essential for the development of a novel macrophage subset in the thymus. Nat. Sci. Rep. 2015

Brief Review: Nonclassical Patrolling Monocyte Function in the Vasculature. Arterioscler. Thromb. Vasc Biol. 2015

Monocyte phenotypes: when local education counts. J Exp Med. 2015

Lymphocytes in Atherosclerosis.  Arterioscler. Thromb. Vasc Biol. 2015

The nuclear receptor Nr4a1 controls CD8 T cell development through transcriptional suppression of Runx3.  Nat. Sci. Rep. 2015

The Cholesterol Transporter ABCG1 links cholesterol homeostasis and tumor immunity.  Nat Commun. 2015

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Staff list
upcoming seminars
    "Zinc-induced Polymerization of Receptor at the Plasma Membrane: A New Form of Regulated Signal Transduction?"
    Wednesday 05/18/16: 12:00 PM
    "Exploring the Roles of Type-2 Cytokine-producing Mucosal Mast Cells in Allergic Disorder"
    Wednesday 06/01/16: 12:00 PM
  • Atorvastatin National Award for Cardiovascular Research, 2000
  • American Heart Association Young Investigator Award, 1993 & 1995
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