Innate immune pathways in intestinal homeostasis.
The major research interests of the lab are related to host-bacterial interactions in the intestine and their impact on protection from infection and their contribution to intestinal inflammation. We are trying to understand how host innate immune circuits detect and respond to different microbial challenges in the intestine, and how innate sensing pathways may contribute to harmful inflammatory responses in the gut, such as those observed in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
We are particularly interested in defining the functions of pattern recognition receptors (PRR), such as Toll-like receptors (TLR) and NOD-like receptors (NLR), in distinct cell types in the intestine during health and disease. We are also assessing the role of autophagy in regulating host-protective and pathological immune responses in the intestine. In addition, we aim to establish techniques to enable the growth of primary intestinal epithelial cells in vitro, in order to study how distinct types of intestinal bacteria may influence innate immune pathways in these cells.
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