Basic Research Programs
The mucosa is a dynamic, multilayered tissue barrier that separates the internal host milieu from the external environment and all the microorganisms that reside there. The MBRC has a wide range of expertise that can focus on the epithelial, neuronal, and endothelial components as well as the immune cells that comprise the mucosal barrier. The expertise with multiple experimental systems enables the MBRC to apply an interdisciplinary approach to solve problems at the mucosal barrier. Some of the most important basic research interests of the MBRC include:
Characterization of novel molecules (e.g. ZOT, zonulin) regulate the intercellular tight junctions within the gut epithelium that have now been linked to the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases including diabetes mellitus.
Studies on the regulation of the tyrosine phosphorylation-responsive, pulmonary vascular endothelial paracellular pathway through which cells, macromolecules, and fluid move.
Studies on the control of fever and how changes in core temperature exert effects on key components of the pulmonary response to acute injury.
Defining components of the innate immune response to bacterial and viral lung infections. This work focuses on the inflammatory response initiated by Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists, with special emphasis on the genetic susceptibility of individuals to inflammatory diseases initiated or exacerbated by TLR.
Research on the interactions between immune and non-immune cells in the regulation of the host cytokine response to intestinal parasites and other pro-inflammatory pathologies including inflammatory bowel disease.