Our laboratory is working on three areas of biomedicine, trying to move observations from basic research into the clinic. First, we are studying how the sizes of tissues and tumors are regulated, and how this can be manipulated for therapeutic purposes. As a model system, we are using the simple eukaryote Dictyostelium discoideum, which allows us to combine techniques such as biochemistry, genetics, computer modeling, and cell biology to study tissue size regulation. We have found that a secreted protein as well as the unusual molecule polyphosphate are signals in negative feedback loops that inhibit Dictyostelium cell proliferation, and we are studying the signal transduction pathway to understand similar mechanisms in humans.
Second, we are studying how some secreted proteins can make cells move away from the source of the signal. We found such a signal (called a chemorepellent) in Dictyostelium, and then found a similar signal in humans. We are working to understand the signal transduction pathway for both. The human signal repels neutrophils, and we found that this can be used therapeutically in mouse models of neutrophil-driven diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and acute respiratory distress syndrome.
Third, we have found that a human blood protein called Serum Amyloid P (SAP) regulates a key step in the formation of scar tissue as well as the formation of the scar-like lesions in fibrosing diseases such as congestive heart failure and pulmonary fibrosis. We are studying this mechanism, and a biotech company (Promedior) we co-founded is testing SAP as a therapy for fibrosis in patients in two Phase 2 trials.
- University of California, San Diego - (San Diego, California, United States), Postdoctoral Training 1988
- Ph.D. in Biology, California Institute of Technology - (Pasadena, California, United States) 1983
- B.A. in Physics, Pomona College - (Claremont, California, United States) 1977
- Rijal, R., Consalvo, K. M., Lindsey, C. K., & Gomer, R. H. (2019). An endogenous chemorepellent directs cell movement by inhibiting pseudopods at one side of cells. MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF THE CELL. 30(2), 242-255.
- Pilling, D., Chinea, L. E., Consalvo, K. M., & Gomer, R. H. (2019). Different Isoforms of the Neuronal Guidance Molecule Slit2 Directly Cause Chemoattraction or Chemorepulsion of Human Neutrophils. JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY. 202(1), 239-248.
- Suess, P. M., Chinea, L. E., Pilling, D., & Gomer, R. H. (2019). Extracellular Polyphosphate Promotes Macrophage and Fibrocyte Differentiation, Inhibits Leukocyte Proliferation, and Acts as a Chemotactic Agent for Neutrophils. JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY. 203(2), 493-499.
- Behrens, N. E., Lipke, P. N., Pilling, D., Gomer, R. H., & Klotz, S. A. (2019). Serum Amyloid P Component Binds Fungal Surface Amyloid and Decreases Human Macrophage Phagocytosis and Secretion of Inflammatory Cytokines. MBIO. 10(2),
- Gomer, R. H. (2019). The Use of Diffusion Calculations and Monte Carlo Simulations to Understand the Behavior of Cells in Dictyostelium Communities. COMPUTATIONAL AND STRUCTURAL BIOTECHNOLOGY JOURNAL. 17, 684-688.
- Gomer, R. H., & Pilling, D. (2011). Fibrocytes and collagen-producing cells of the peripheral blood. Fibrocytes in Health and Disease. (pp. 17-27). World Scientific.
- Pilling, D., & Gomer, R. H. (2011). Regulatory pathways of fibrocyte development. Fibrocytes in Health and Disease. (pp. 29-43). World Scientific.
- Pilling, D., & Gomer, R. H. (2007). Regulatory pathways for fibrocyte differentiation. Fibrocytes: New Insights into Tissue Repair and Systemic Fibrosis. (pp. 37-60). World Scientific.
- Karhadkar, T. R., Pilling, D., & Gomer, R. H. (2019). Attenuated Pulmonary Fibrosis in Sialidase-3 Knockout (Neu3(-/-)) Mice. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF RESPIRATORY AND CRITICAL CARE MEDICINE. 199,
- Karhadkar, T. R., Pilling, D., Cox, N., & Gomer, R. H. (2018). Sialidase Inhibitors Attenuate Pulmonary Fibrosis in a Mouse Model. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF RESPIRATORY AND CRITICAL CARE MEDICINE. 197,
- Vakil, V., Sung, J. J., Piecychna, M., Crawford, J. R., Kuo, P., Abu-Alfa, A. K., ... Gomer, R. H. (2009). Gadolinium-containing magnetic resonance image contrast agent promotes fibrocyte differentiation.. JMRI-JOURNAL OF MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING. 30(6), 1284-1288.
- Skidmore, W., Horne, K., Pearson, K., Gomer, R., O'Brien, K., & Oke, B. (2004). Rapid keck spectroscopy of cataclysmic variables. Revista Mexicana de Astronomia y Astrofisica: Serie de Conferencias. 20, 155-157.
- Gomer, R., & Brazill, D. (2003). The versatile Dictyostelium discoideum. Meeting report: International Dictyostelium Conference 2002.. Protist. 154(1), 5-10.
- Xiang, Wang (2018-08). Inhibiting Serum Amyloid P - Fc?R1 Interactions on Human Macrophages Decreases Numbers of Intracellular Mycobacteria. (Master's Thesis)
- Suess, Patrick Michael (2018-05). Insight into an Ancient and Enigmatic Molecule Using Dictyostelium discoideum. (Doctoral Dissertation)
- White, Michael (2015-05). Linking Fibrosis and Cancer through the Differentiation of Fibrocytes. (Doctoral Dissertation)
- Cox, Nehemiah (2015-05). Regulation of Innate Immune Responses and Fibrosis by Serum Amyloid P. (Doctoral Dissertation)
- Herlihy, Sarah E (2014-08). Linking Two Seemingly Unrelated Diseases, Cancer and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Through a Dictyostelium Secreted Protein. (Doctoral Dissertation)