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Assistant Professor, Dept. of Pediatrics (Infectious Diseases), Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, and Immunology, Duke University

Research Summary

Dr. Surana is an early-stage investigator and physician-scientist with extensive training in microbiology, immunology, pediatrics, and infectious diseases, He has explored the relationship between hosts and their commensal bacteria, focusing more directly on the impact the microbiota has on the immune system. His current research integrates gnotobiotic murine models, immunology, microbiology, and bioinformatic characterization of the microbiota with the aim of identifying specific commensal bacteria with immunomodulatory potential and subsequent characterization of their biologic effects. He developed an innovative approach for identifying with high specificity organisms within the microbiota that are causally related to the phenotype of interest. He discovered and characterized of Clostridium immunis, a new bacterial species that protects against colitis and, in more recent work, metabolic disease via its immunomodulatory functions. He has recently purified and characterized the specific molecule—a secreted exopolysaccharide—that recapitulates this protection.

CGIBD Focus Area(s):  Microbiome

Pilot and Feasibility Award 2020

Collaborators:  Andermann

Picture of Neil Surana, MD, PhD