Mucosal tissues such as the gut are complex ecosystems. Signals arriving from the outside world play a key role in shaping the mucosal surfaces, demanding multifactorial responses from diverse cell types that reside within the tissue. Disruption of this cellular equilibrium may lead to various tissue diseases, including food allergies, inflammatory bowel diseases, and cancer.
In this age of genomic approaches, it has now become feasible to characterize “normal” and diseased tissues in great detail. To understand the intestines and airways tissue physiology at higher resolution, we are leveraging single-cell genomics and traditional experimental methods. We hope that these studies will be relevant to human physiology and pathology.
We aim to decipher gene regulatory networks and explore their biological function by in vitro organoid systems or in vivo using mouse models and human samples. Our group is investigating the role of novel cell-cell interactions, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) causal risk genes, and cancer processes in the intestines and lungs.
We focus on:
1. Epithelial stem cell biology.
2. The role of epithelial MHCII in maintaining tissue homeostasis and in tissue pathologies such as IBD and cancer.
3. Understanding the role of epithelial cells in shaping the landscape of adaptive mucosal immunity.
4. T helper cells' role in maintaining tissue homeostasis.
5. Exploring novel cell-cell interactions in food allergies, IBD, and cancer.