North Carolina State University
Dr. Tonkonogy’s current research focuses on cytokine mediated regulation of immunity and inflammation in the intestinal tract. Her studies are designed to determine how the intestinal immune response is involved in initiation and perpetuation of chronic intestinal inflammation that occurs in human inflammatory bowel disease. The aim of Dr. Tonkonogy’s current studies is to elucidate the role of virulence gene products on the development of enterocolitis in IL-10 deficient mice. Their hypothesis is that persistent exposure of previously germ-free mice to invasive, translocating, intracellular commensal bacteria induces bacterial antigen-driven T cell responses that cause chronic intestinal inflammation.