Research

Inflammation and IBD

Inflammation is an innate immune response to tissue malfunction. This response is essential to cope with deviations from homeostatic tissue functions; however, non-resolving inflammation can result in chronic disease.

Inflammation is associated with transient loss of tissue function and in some cases loss of tissue structure and integrity. This is especially delicate at the intestinal mucosal surface, the barrier between the eukaryotic and prokaryotic parts of the mammalian "super-organism". We are studying how the elicitation of inflammation is regulated at mucosal surfaces, i.e. the mechanisms which regulate the switch from homeostasis to inflammation at this peculiar barrier between the inside and outside.

Dysfunctions in these mechanisms result in the development of chronic inflammation. In the intestine, chronic inflammation leads to the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. We are interesting in deciphering the cross-regulation of inflammation, tolerance, and the microbial ecosystem at mucosal interfaces, and how aberrations in this process manifest in colitis development.