Labs / Parks Lab

Education and Training

  • B.A. in Biology, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN 1976
  • Ph.D. in Anatomy, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI 1982.
  • NIEHS Postdoctoral Fellow, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 1985.
  • NHLBI Postdoctoral Fellow, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 1986.


South Lake Union Campus
Box 358050
815 Mercer Street
Seattle, Washington 98109
Academic Office: (206) 897-1303
Fax: (206) 897-1546

Current Research Interests

Research in my laboratory focuses on three epithelial matrix metalloproteinases-matrilysin (MMP-7), stromelysin-2 (MMP-10), and epilysin (MMP-28) - and how these secreted enzymes function in defense and repair. We are primarily interested in the innate immune functions conferred by the epithelium of different organs (but with a hefty emphasis on lung), including defense against microorganisms, wound repair, and recruitment of inflammatory cells. We have determined that these three MMPs serve distinct, non-overlaping functions in several distinct processes of innate immunity. Our goal is to understand mechanism; that is, to identify the physiologic protein substrates of individual MMPs whose cleavage regulates specific processes, such as neutrophil recruitment, cell migration, etc.

Representative Publications

Wilson CL, OuelletteAJ, Satchell DP, Ayabe T, Lopez-Boado YS, Stratman JL, Hultgren SJ, Matrisian LM, Parks WC. Regulation of intestinal alpha-defensin activation by the metalloproteinase matrilysin in innate host defense. Science 286: 113-117, 1999.

Lopez-Boado YS, Wilson CL, Hooper LV, Gordon JL, Hultgren SJ, Parks WC. Bacterial exposure induces and activates matrilysin in mucosal epithelial cells. J. Cell Biol 148:1305-1315, 2000.

LiQ, Park PW, Wilson CL, Parks WC. Matrilysin shedding of syndecan-1 regulates chemokine moblization and transepithelial efflux of neutrophils in acute lung injury. Cell 111:635-646, 2002.

McGuire JK, Li Q, Parks WC. Matrilysin-mediated cleavage of E-cadherin ecotodomain is associated with mucosal re-epithelialization. Am J Pathol 162:1831-1843, 2003.

Parks WC, Wilson CW, Lopez-Boado YS. Matrix mellaproteinases as modulators of inflammation and innate immunity Nat Rev Immunol 4:617-629, 2004.