- About CURE
James Waschek, PhD
Professor, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Dr Waschek is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral science. The primary objective of his research is to better understand the biological roles of neuropeptides, especially their potential action as growth factors and immunomodulators, and the mechanisms controlling their expression. He has focused much of his efforts on two structurally-related neuropeptides: vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), and pituitary adenyl cyclase activating peptide (PACAP). Recently, efforts have expanded considerably to investigate general processes impacted by neuropeptides, including innate immune mechanisms that operate in myeloid cells (especially microglia) astrocytes and other CNS resident cells), adaptive immune mechanisms that involve T helper subsets and myeloid cells, and mechanisms that mediate tumor immunoeradication and immunoescape. In addition to using classical approaches to study these processes, he has generated transgenic and knockout mouse models for PACAP and VIP and other molecules, and has applied them to the study of inflammatory bowel diseases and colitis-associated colorectal cancer that mimics the increased incidence of colorectal cancer in humans with long standing inflammatory bowel disease.