Faculty Advisor

Heilman, Destin


Inflammation is initiated by the innate immune system to remove harmful stimuli and heal infections. Multiprotein complexes, called inflammasomes, process inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-1 beta and IL-18 and are essential for optimal host response. Infammasomes are typically comprised of one or more nod-like receptor (NLR), a pro-caspase protease, and an adaptor molecule. NLRP3 and NLRP12 are NLRs with specificities towards certain pathogens and vaccines; however, aspects of their activation remain unclear. To investigate a possible mode of assembly, we generated fluorescently tagged NLR pyrin domain-containing protein (NLRP) plasmids for transformation into cells. Expression of NLRP3 and NLRP12 inflammasome components was successfully observed by fluorescence microscopy.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

November 2012


Biology and Biotechnology

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Advisor Program

Chemistry and Biochemistry