Dr Katrina Binger

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Dr. Katrina Binger received her PhD from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Melbourne in 2009. She then studied the contribution of inflammation to diabetic retinopathy at the Department of Immunology at Monash University, prior to commencing a CJ Martin – Overseas Biomedical postdoctoral fellowship in 2011 at the Max-Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin, Germany. Her primary research interests are to understand the contribution of high dietary salt (NaCl) to chronic inflammatory diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. She has shown that the activation of alternatively activated “M2” macrophages is reduced in vitro and in vivo by high salt, and identified a novel molecular mechanism for this effect where high salt reduced the cellular metabolic capacity of the cells. As previous work in the lab has shown that pro-inflammatory “M1” macrophages have an increased activation with high salt, collectively, this work provides evidence where high dietary salt may lead to an overall imbalance in immune homeostasis.