Dr. Latz Lab has a longstanding interest in deciphering the molecular mechanisms of innate immune receptor activation. In particular, the lab is interested in understanding how innate receptors interact with their ligands and how this molecular interaction leads to receptor activation. Recently, we have also focused on the molecular details of the mechanisms that lead to the activation of the NLRP3 and AIM2 inflammasome. The NLRP3 inflammasome can respond to a broad range of cellular stressors and to sub stances that indicate metabolic derangements such as aggregated peptides, crystals of monosodium urate (forming in gout) or crystals of cholesterol that are found in atherosclerotic plaques. One goal of the research is to translate the molecular understanding of innate immune receptor activation into the generation of molecular tools that could lead to the development of specific diagnostics for inflammatory materials. Another goal is to devise means to pharmacologically interfere with the activation of innate immune re-ceptors in order to develop novel approaches to treat inflammatory diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease or atherosclerosis.