Assoc Professor, Biological Sciences
Additional Contact Information
Tuesday and Thursday 10:30-1pm
My research interests focus on mucosal immunity, specifically on the tolerance mechanisms induced in response to infection. It is intriguing how despite common microbial recognition molecules, some microbes are able to reside within our organs, evading detection by the immune system, others trigger a strong immune response that may harm both the microbe and the host and yet others, can be tolerated by the immune system such that they thrive in our body while causing chronic disease. The organs exposed to the external environment are lined with mucosal tissue and are constantly in direct contact with microbes. The mucosa comprise a specialized network of immune and residential cells that together sustain the mucosal immunity. In my research lab, we study two aspects of mucosal immunity one triggered by a pathogen in the airway and the other autoimmune triggered inflammation in the gut:
a. Immunity in respiratory tract- Bordetella pertussis - a highly contagious human respiratory pathogen that triggers a prolonged disease with fatal outcomes in infants. We are particularly interested in the strategies applied by these bacteria such that the adaptive immune response is diverted to tolerate the infection for prolonged periods of time.
a. Detection of circulating immune cells with gut homing surface molecules as a tool to follow the course of inflammatory bowel diseases and to monitor the effectiveness of a variety of commonly used therapies in affected patients.
Students with research interests in these fields are encouraged to contact me to further discuss specific projects available.