Academic Interests: Basic and translational investigation of mechanisms of chronic intestinal inflammation and mucosal homeostasis. These studies are performed in genetically engineered (knockout and transgenic) mice, raised under specific pathogen-free, germ-free (sterile), or selectively colonized gnotobiotic conditions. Our studies investigate the ability of specific components of the intestinal microbiota to induce chronic T-cell mediated inflammation in genetically susceptible hosts vs. protective mucosal immune responses in normal hosts. Parallel studies investigate the ability of dietary products such as iron, sucrose, and fructose to modify the composition and function of intestinal microbiota. Recent studies have extended these microbial-host interaction studies to human samples, including mucosal biopsies and resected tissues from normal, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis patients.
Education and Training
- Undergraduate: BS in Pre-Medicine, from Washington-Lee University
- Medical Doctorate: Baylor College of Medicine
- Fellowship: Gastroenterology, from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Post-Doctoral Training: Host-microbial interaction, from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Sabbatical: National Institutes of Health-NIDR; Molecular biology, immunoregulation