Lena G. Gerwick
Research Scientist
Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine

Lena Gerwick is a lecturer in the Marine Biology program and a research scientist belonging to the Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine. Her research interests involve the evolution and functional aspects of innate immunity and its role in inflammation in an aquatic model system. Since 1994 she has been researching the inflammatory response in rainbow trout with the focus being the transcriptional response in the liver and the subsequent secretion of many of these proteins to the blood stream. Great strides have been made by her and others and today many of the inflammatory response proteins (acute phase proteins) have been sequenced and for some the expression pattern has been mapped. To further be able to address some of the functional aspects of some of these innate immune molecules Lena’s laboratory are using zebrafish as a model so that mutants, RNAi experiments etc can be utilized to ask some very interesting biological questions regarding the innate immune system and its role in selection, development, disease resistance and reproduction.
Furthermore she is developing tools that can be used for screening of marine natural products as a source of potential new drugs using zebrafish and embryos for early in vivo testing.
In addition, several members of Lena’s laboratory are actively using modern techniques to determine mechanism of action and specific protein targets of selected natural products, in particular marine natural products showing anti – inflammatory activity.