Our goal is to understand how innate immune functions of lung epithelial cells regulate the development and progression of lung immunopathogenesis.


The immune system is faced with a tremendous challenge: it must balance the competing goals of antiviral activity with avoidance of immune-mediated damage. The immune response is usually effective in pathogen recognition and clearance, but excessive inflammation can lead to tissue damage and decreased lung function. Balancing these two goals depends on continuous communication about the magnitude and nature of infection, which is accomplished by cytokine signaling. The continuous monitoring of infection and feedback-mediated adjustment of the immune response shares many parallels with engineering problems and is thus well-suited for interrogation using quantitative and control theoretic approaches, which have been widely embraced by the systems biology community.

The vision of the Wilder Lab is to combine iterative systems biology and cellular engineering approaches to understand how lung epithelial cells control antiviral and inflammatory responses through regulation of interferon signaling. This knowledge will be used to develop quantitative models of immune responses and develop model systems that promote anti-viral immune responses.

Why now

The Wilder Lab is generating exciting and impactful ideas and research that will make an impact in the fields of immunology, lung biology, and immunotherapy. With the current research advances in spatial-omics approaches and computational analytical tools, now is a great time to pursue the current projects using systems biology approaches to investigate the temporal and spatial regulation of innate immunity and inflammation.

Why here

The Wilder Lab has joined UCSF due to its vibrant research community with excellent faculty, staff, and students. UCSF is renowned for their research with over $800 million in NIH research funding and has a commitment to solving societal issues with their established institutional infrastructure. The UCSF community is an excellent place for collaborations due to the number of leading experts in various fields including basic and clinical research. The lab is able to leverage its affiliations with Health Innovation via Engineering (HIVE), Gladstone-UCSF Institute of Genomic Immunology, and Chan Zuckerberg Biohub to conduct cutting-edge research.

About Catera L. Wilder, PhD

Wilder has expertise in tissue-remodeling proteolytic networks, cellular feedback systems, systems biology, and stimulus specificity of signaling networks that endow her with the ideal background to investigate complex, dynamic immune response networks at both the tissue and cellular level.

Members of the Wilder Lab are an interdisciplinary group of scientists that are passionate about scientific research. We are committed to promoting diversity and inclusion of people with various racial and ethnic backgrounds, gender identities, religions, and disabilities in the lab and within our research.