Who We Are

We are an internationally diverse group of scientists who share a common passion: scientific discovery.  Here at AU, we blend our expertise and creativity to discover new ways to harness the power of the immune system to treat disease. If you are interested in joining our team, please email us!


Lynn Hedrick, PhD

Catherine 'Lynn' Hedrick, PhD

Georgia Research Alliance Bradley Turner Eminent Scholar in Vascular and Cancer Immunology
Head, Cancer Immunology, Inflammation, and Tolerance (CIIT) Division of the Georgia Cancer Center
Co-Director, Immunology Center of Georgia
Professor, Department of Medicine
Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University


What We Study

Immune cells are central to our health and are key cellular players in fighting disease. Innate immune myeloid cells, (including monocytes, dendritic cells, neutrophils, and macrophages) are early responder immune cells that sense pathogenic bacteria, viruses, and even tumor cells, and then orchestrate their killing.  Our laboratory studies these myeloid cells in health, cardiovascular disease, and cancers. Key new projects are to determine how these innate immune cells differ in healthy men and women and in healthy people from different ethnicities, and how these differences impact disease susceptibility.

We utilize high dimensional immunoprofiling methods, including CyTOF mass cytometry and single cell RNA sequencing to study myeloid cells in healthy humans, and in human subjects with heart disease and cancer. We use our discoveries to create new molecular targets of disease and to predict responses to immunotherapy.


Research Team

photo of Mikhail Fomin, MS

Mikhail Fomin, MS

United States of America flag

United States of America

photo of Ravi Komaravolu, PhD

Ravi Komaravolu, PhD

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photo of Gabriel Valentin-Guillama, PhD

Gabriel Valentin-Guillama, PhD

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Puerto Rico

photo of Juanjuan Zhao, MS

Juanjuan Zhao, MS

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photo of Yali Zhu, PhD

Yali Zhu, PhD

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United States of America

photo of Ahmad Alimadadi, PhD

Ahmad Alimadadi, PhD

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photo of Nandini Chatterjee, MS

Nandini Chatterjee, MS

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United States of America

photo of Layne Benson, BS

Layne Benson, BS

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United States of America

Contact Us

The Hedrick Lab

Health Sciences Campus

Georgia Cancer Center - M. Bert Storey Research Building


Current Research Interests

Related to cancer:

How does lipid metabolism in macrophages impact the tumor microenvironment to regulate tumor growth?

Here, we study specialized mouse models of lipid metabolism and blood from human cancer patients to understand how lipid pathway changes in myeloid cells alter tumor growth. Methods include working with human clinical sample analysis, tumor mouse models, immunoprofiling, high parameter flow cytometry, CyTOF, bioinformatics, and metabolic studies.

How do monocytes recognize tumor cells that are undergoing metastasis?

Select subsets of monocytes are critical in orchestrating the killing of tumor cells as they are traveling through the vasculature to new seeding sites. Here we seek to understand how these cells selectively identify the metastatic tumor cell. Methods include working with tumor mouse models, immunoprofiling, high parameter flow cytometry, RNa sequencing, intravital live cell imaging.

How do monocytes and macrophage cell subsets influence cardiovascular events that occur in cancer patients?

Some cancer patients receiving therapy develop cardiovascular complications, the understanding of which is the emerging field of cardio-oncology. Here, we will study monocyte subsets and functions in cancer patients who develop cardiovascular complications. Methods include working with human blood samples, immunoprofiling, high parameter flow cytometry, functional assays, and bioinformatics approaches.


Related to atherosclerosis:

How are monocytes changed in atherosclerosis progression?  Are there specific functional markers that can be utilized to prevent disease progression? How do they influence T and B cell adaptive responses?

Monocytes play several key roles in atherosclerosis, but we still don’t mechanistically understand how we can better enhance them or target them to control atherosclerosis progression. Here, we study monocytes in human subjects with low to high cardiovascular disease severity to answer these questions using flow cytometry, single cell RNA sequencing, bioinformatics approaches, genetic mouse models of monocyte subsets, and functional assays.


Are there sex and ethnic differences present in monocyte subsets that change how they function in atherosclerosis?

Females develop less atherosclerosis until menopause. Ethnic differences in atherosclerosis progression have been reported. Here, we study how sex and ethnicity impacts monocyte function in cardiovascular disease. High dimensional immunoprofiling, epidemiology, bioinformatics and functional assays will be utilized to answer these questions.

Selected Publications

Pandori WJ, Padgett LE, Alimadadi A, Gutierrez NA, Araujo DJ, Huh CJ, Olingy CE, Dinh HQ, Wu R, Vijayanand P, Chee SJ, Ottensmeier CH, and Hedrick CC. Single-cell immune profiling reveals long-term changes in myeloid cells and identifies a novel subset of CD9+ monocytes associated with COVID-19 hospitalization. 2022. J Leuk Biol. In press.

Olingy C, Alimadadi A, Araujo DJ, Barry D, Gutierrez NA, Werbin MH, Arriola E, Patel SP, Ottensmeier CH, Dinh HQ, Hedrick CC. 2022. CD33 Expression on Peripheral Blood Monocytes Predicts Efficacy of Anti-PD-1 Immunotherapy Against Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. Front Immunol. 13:842653

Gaddis DR, Padgett LE, Wu R, Nguyen A, McSkimming C, Dinh HQ, Araujo DJ, Taylor AM, McNamara CA, and Hedrick CC. 2021. Atherosclerosis impairs naïve CD4 T cell responses via disruption of glycolysis. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 41:2387-2398.

Hedrick CC and Malanchi I. 2021. Neutrophils in cancer: heterogenous and multifaceted. Nat Rev Immunol. In press. doi: 10.1038/s41577-021-00571-6.

Padgett LE, Dinh HQ, Wu R, Gaddis DE, Araujo DJ, Winkels H, Nguyen A, McNamara CA, and Hedrick CC. 2020. Naïve CD8+ T cells expressing CD95 increase human cardiovascular disease severity. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc. Biol. 40: 2845-2859.

Zhu YP, Eggert T, Araujo DJ, Vijayanand P, Ottensmeier CH, and Hedrick CC. 2020. CyTOF mass cytometry reveals phenotypically distinct human blood neutrophil populations differentially correlated with melanoma stage. J Immunother Cancer. 8:e000473.

Garrido-Martin EM, Mellows TWP, Clarke J, Ganesan AP, Wood O, Cazaly A, Seumois G, Chee SJ, Alzetani A, King EV, Hedrick CC, 2020. Thomas G, Friedmann PS, Ottensmeier CH, Vijayanand P, Sanchez-Elsner T. 2020. M1-hot tumor-associated macrophages boost tissue-resident memory T cells infiltration and survival in human lung cancer. J Immunother Cancer. 8:e000778.

Marcovecchio P.M., Zhu YP, Hanna RN, Dinh HQ, Tacke R, Wu R, McArdle S, Reynolds S. Araujo DJ, Ley K, and Hedrick CC. 2020. Frontline Science: Kindlin-3 is essential for patrolling and phagocytosis functions of nonclassical monocytes during metastatic cancer surveillance. J Leukoc Biol. 107: 883-892.

Hamers AAJ, Dinh HQ, Thomas GD, Marcovecchio P, Blatchley A, Nakao CS, Kim C, McSkimming C, Taylor AM, Nguyen AT, McNamara CA, Hedrick CC. 2019. Human monocyte heterogeneity as revealed by high-dimensional mass cytometry. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 39:25-36.

Binnewies M, Roberts EW, Kersten K, Chan V, Fearon DF, Merad M, Coussens LM, Gabrilovich DI, Ostrand-Rosenberg S, Hedrick CC, Vonderheide RH, Pittet MJ, Jain RK, Zou W, Howcroft TK, Woodhouse EC, Weinberg RA, Krummel MF. 2018. Understanding the tumor immune microenvironment (TIME) for effective therapy. Nat Med. 24: 541-550.

Thomas GD, Hanna RN, Vasudevan NT, Romanoski CE, McArdale A, Ross K, Blatchley A, Yoakum D, Hamilton B, Mikulski Z, Jain M, Glass CK, Hedrick CC. 2016. Deleting an Nr4a1 super-enhancer subdomain ablates Ly6Clow monocytes while preserving macrophage gene function. Immunity. 45:975-987.

Hanna RN, Cekic C, Chittezhath M, Sag D, Tacke R, Thomas GT, Nowyhed H, Herrley E, Rasquinha N, McArdle S, Wu R, Metzger D, Ichinose H, Shaked I, Chodaczek G, Biswas SK, and Hedrick CC.  2015.  Patrolling Monocytes Control Tumor Metastasis to the Lung.  Science. 350:985-90. PMID: 26494174

Sag D, Cekic C, Wu R, Linden J and Hedrick CC.  2015.  The Cholesterol Transporter ABCG1 links cholesterol homeostasis and tumor immunity.  Nat Commun. 6:6354. PMCID: PMC4347884