Ajay Gulati’s research program focuses on understanding interactions between the commensal microbiota of the gut and the host epithelium in the context of chronic intestinal inflammation found in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Specifically, he is interested in determining how the microbiota regulates the function of intestinal stem cells and Paneth cells. It is the expectation that identifying such pathways will lead to the development of clinical therapies that can augment epithelial function to treat a spectrum of pediatric GI disorders, including IBD. He has had extensive training studying the epithelial biology of the intestinal tract (under the mentorship of Dr. Susan Henning), as well as using mouse models of intestinal inflammation and advanced molecular techniques to study the gut microbiota (developed under the tutelage of Dr. Balfour Sartor). To date, he has leveraged this expertise to obtain several foundation and NIH-funded grants, including KL2, K08, and R03 awards. This has led to multiple peer-reviewed publications.
Relevance of Research to CGIBD Mission: Dr. Gulati’s background in clinical pediatric IBD, combined with his basic science expertise in epithelial biology and the gut microbiota, places him in an ideal position to ultimately translate research results into meaningful interventions for patients in the future.
CGIBD Focus Area(s): Microbiome; Clinical/Translational
Pilot and Feasibility Award 2008
Collaborators: Azcarate, Carroll, Egberg, Fodor, Kappelman, Long, Sandler