Research Areas

Research conducted in the Rogers Laboratory spans discovery science through clinical translation. Major efforts are: 1) identification and development of small noncoding RNA therapeutics for rare diseases, 2) understanding how immune cells regulate disease and tissue regeneration, and 3) translational studies using preclinical models of human disease.

The overarching goal is to discover therapeutic solutions for diseases refractory to conventional approaches.

Small noncoding RNA drugs as next-generation therapeutics

Immune cells as disease-relevant targets

The innate immune system is the first line of defense against invading pathogens and orchestrates the response to sterile tissue injury and repair. While necessary for efficient tissue repair, innate immune cells may become dysregulated by disease and directly contribute to disease progression. For example, macrophages play diverse roles in tissue repair by communicating with other tissue resident cells such as stem and progenitor cells, fibroblasts and endothelial cells. In the setting of chronic inflammation, macrophages may become dysregulated and unable to appropriately communicate with other resident and immune cells, resulting in conditions such as fibrosis and unresolved inflammation. In such cases, macrophages become important disease-relevant targets for therapeutic intervention, with a goal of restoring homeostasis.

Bench to bedside: translating basic science to the clinic

Translational research is a line of investigation which applies knowledge learned from basic biology to preclinical models of human disease, with a view of addressing unmet medical needs. Already, for example, CDCs are in advanced clinical testing for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a rare neuromuscular disease affecting heart and skeletal muscle. Through mechanistic dissection, we learned CDCs work by secreting extracellular vesicles enriched with therapeutic molecules. These bioactive factors may impact one or more disease-specific pathways and themselves progress along the developmental pathway. Our ultimate goal is to convert these discoveries into safer and more effective therapies for a variety of human diseases.

Contact the Rogers Lab

8700 Beverly Blvd.
Davis Research Building, Room 1088
Los Angeles, CA 90048