Welcome to the De Maio Laboratory

Laboratory Members

  • Antonio De Maio, PhD 
    Director of the Center for Investigations of Health and Education Disparities.
  • Stephen Bickler, MD
    Clinical professor of pediatric surgery
  • David Cauvi, PhD
    Assistant project scientist
  • Dennis Hawisher
    Staff research associate
  • Diego Nino
    Graduate student
  • Michael R. William
    PREP Scholar
  • Gabriela Armijo
    ndergraduate student

Extracellular Heat Shock Proteins

The De Maio group has been a pioneer in studying the role of heat shock proteins in the regulation of the innate immune system. The major inducible form of heat shock protein family, Hsp70, is actively secreted by cells by an active non-classical mechanism, which is independent of ER-Golgi traffic. The De Maio group found that Hsp70 secretion is initiated by the translocation of the protein into the plasma membrane followed by the released within vesicles.

The systemic Response to Injury

The De Maio laboratory has found that the response to injury is modulated by several confounding factors including genetic background, sex, age, diet and environment. Classical mouse genetics was used to identify modifier genes that regulate the response to injury as potential genetic markers or therapeutic targets. In this regard, macrophage scavenger receptor A was identified as a modifier of the induction of IL-10. In addition, the De Maio laboratory found that the negative outcome from sepsis is related to a condition of innate immune dysfunction.

Novel Strategies of Protection from Alzheimer’s disease

The De Maio laboratory is investigating the possible therapeutic potential of heat shock proteins in ameliorating the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

Motivating, Mentoring, and Training

Dr. De Maio is actively engaged in the training of undergraduate, graduate, medical students, and Post-docs, particularly students from disadvantaged social and economic backgrounds, students with disabilities, and students from minority groups that are under-represented in science. Additionally, Dr. De Maio actively mentors future academic surgeons and other health-related professionals.